The barriers to women rising are a very real thing. We live in a culture that is deeply conflicted by this “idea” that women can lead. Women are taught to downplay femininity, or to soften a hard-charging style, or to try to strike a perfect balance between the two. The subtle gender bias that persists in the workplace and in our society disrupts a woman’s learning and self-exploration and subsequently their leadership identity. We become so focused on being liked and not coming off as “bossy” or “bitchy” that we waste our time and energy on fulfilling/correcting others perceptions rather than working to develop our authentic self and leadership identity. This is why women ultimately do not take on leadership roles or get the opportunities to move up the leadership ladder within an organization. The struggle is REAL!
I have written a lot about creating your personal brand and knowing your values, attitude, mindset, passions, strengths, etc. Simply stated: who am I? As women, establishing our personal identity is incredibly important and powerful. It will prevent us from being sidetracked or restricted by gender barriers and it will grow our confidence.
According to recent research, it is predicted that it will take another 25-years to address many of the issues impacting women in terms of career development, work environment and work-life balance. Not so great news but I for one am not going to roll over and die! LeanIn.org recently published this article highlighting how smart women succeed despite these gender barriers – read it and get after it!
We all have the opportunity to make an impact on the place we live, work and with the people we come in contact with. That is a powerful thing to think about and what motivates me, as ONE WOMAN, to be aware of gender bias, educate others and to pursue new opportunities, challenges and leadership roles. This is my fuel.
Feeling like you are not sure what your brand is or how to build your leadership identity? Check out this article on building a leadership identity and here is another one on empowering your brand. Self explore and know who you are.
“It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you, if you allow it.”
My handsome man smiling big on this beautiful Friday morning!
Embrace the day!