Women in the Business World Still Deal with Gender Bias
I have three daughters, and I love them all tremendously. Heather, Meagan and Lindsey have brought me so much joy throughout my life. And all three of them, from the time they were very young, have been extremely confident and assertive. They had it far from easy in their developmental years and I was not always the best parent. My girls have a passion for life, they are surrounded by friends and people of all backgrounds and beliefs, they have a vision for their future and a confidence that radiates from their soul. But they fight something I do not.
My son Jordan has this characteristic as well, but have you ever noticed how it’s different for women than it is for men?
You see a man who is confident and assertive and he’s considered a “leader” and a “go-getter.” But then you see
a woman with the same traits, and they’re characterized as “bossy” or (pardon the language) “bitchy.” It’s a complete double standard.
And this double standard manifests itself very early in childhood. Girls are basically expected to be programmed for different roles than boys. In the views of many, they should be playing house, rather than playing sports. They should be playing with dolls, not action figures. They should be submissive to natural born leaders – supposedly men! That is RIDICULOUS!
The fact is, in 2015 we should be far beyond the point where men are expected to be the leaders, and women are expected to be in the background. I have known and worked with some pretty remarkable women throughout my career. Matter of fact, my business partner is female and so is our resident PhD (Katie Doseck). However, many women still to this day struggle with being a woman and being expected to behave a certain way in the working world.
But the qualities that make a great entrepreneur and a great leader do not discriminate by gender. A great leader needs:
• Wisdom to know what the right decision is and when to make it
• Strength to take on responsibilities and carry out tasks that others would shrink from
• Tact to know how to communicate with people of all backgrounds, beliefs and temperaments
• Courage to shoot for goals and accomplishments they have dreamed of
• Resilience to pick themselves back up after the inevitably fail
Not a single one of these traits is exclusive to either men or women. That’s because leadership knows no gender.
I would challenge us all to remove ourselves of our biases whenever we make business decisions and judge people solely for the qualities they possess.
Copyright 2015 Viral Solutions LLC
by Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer