Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Women in Business – My Case for Why We Need to Help Ourselves!

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The need to "Help Ourselves", and most definitely each other, should be a driving force for all women in business.  
Here is why......




I present this as a companion piece to another of my articles on "Leaning In" and Having It All!



"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." --Eleanor Roosevelt



I read these words by Eleanor Roosevelt and immediately had that “aha” moment.  Maybe real value is only placed on the people who demand it



As women, that is sometimes hard for us to do.  We are raised to believe that it is better not to “rock the boat”.  However, continuing this line of thinking is doing a great disservice to us and to the young women who follow.



The trick is, how do we garner the personal and professional respect of others without sinking to the “bitch” label?  I think we can accomplish this by believing in our own value and “helping ourselves”.



Women in Business Need to 
Remember to Ask for What We Want!  "Tweet This"!





Male ambition and competitiveness is applauded.  That “go get ‘em” attitude is praised.  However, that same drive in women is often labeled as “bitchy” and “unattractive”.  But it is not only men that are guilty of this, but other women as well.



Women need to shatter that perception if we want to move forward, and I believe more and more women are doing just that!  Like the amazing and successful women we are, we are seeing the value of “paying it forward” and being role models for the next generation of professional women.



Our goal should be to inspire women to become leaders in their chosen professions.  We also need to encourage them to reach beyond their own success and help to effect positive change in our world.



And I think women are particularly able to promote that change.  




Women professionals bring natural

qualities to the table that need to 

celebrated.  We are capable of strong

collaboration, conviction, and purpose.





What are our strengths?  
I believe our greatest assets are:


Our strong communication skills.   Women know     how to really listen to the thoughts of others as well as convey our own point of view.  We can empathize even if we do not agree.


Our desire to collaborate. Women appreciate the need to “work well together” and “get along”.  We talk things out and “brainstorm” as a matter of course.


Our ability to ask for help  Women know that asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness.  We understand the need to delegate and if we are unsure of how to proceed, we will ask!


Our “socially aware” point of view.  Women feel a real need to address and "solve" social issues.  We recognize inequality and strive for fairness.  We believe in creating a better world and are willing to put in the work to do so!




Now that we know our strengths, what do we need to do?



We Need to Stop Blaming Others – We need to recognize we can only be treated as we allow ourselves to be treated.  We need to allow ourselves to demand the equal salaries and job opportunities we have earned.



We Need to Stop Using Excuses – We can no longer say what we can’t do because we don’t have the time, the power, or the support to do so.  We need to grab hold of what we want and go “full steam ahead” to get it.


   We Need to Present a United Front - Women need to help women.  We need to champion our own causes and build a strong professional and social network.  It is not the time to be divisive.  Each of us are entitled to make our own choices and it is not for others to belittle them.  (To me, this should be our most important goal!).

           


    "What we, as women, have now earned is a choice.  Each of us can decide our own goals and have the freedom to pursue them. We also need to recognize that one woman’s choice may not be our own.  The celebration should be in the choice itself."  




    It is time we take the inspiring words of Eleanor Roosevelt to heart.  The truth is, until we value ourselves, we cannot expect others to do so.  We Must “Help Ourselves”! 



    Please help spread the word and share this article on your favorite social sites.  And leave a comment ~ I would love to hear your thoughts!


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    8 comments:

    1. Thank you Kimberly! I like the no more excuses part. I see women (myself included) living up to other people's expectations when those expectations aren't even what we want for ourselves. No more excuses!

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    2. I appreciate your comments Kelly...and that you took the time to read my article! I also have been guilty, but I truly believe that our success is in our own hands...especially in what direction we take. Thanks again!

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    3. Very good article. Many women put themselves in a negative place. We are valuable and have a lot to offer. We are always short changing ourselves.

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      Replies
      1. I have to agree Veronica. It seems that sometimes we are "our own worst enemy". But I sincerely believe that we can change that mind set!

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    4. Great and insightful article Kim. I worked in the shipping industry for many years and the most unpleasant men to deal with were our own dockworkers. Foreign Captains, and crew were never disrespectful but U.S. men gave me a very hard time. We need to change this attitude through our sons and daughters!

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      1. Most definitely Penny. Changing the attitudes of the "next generation" is key to promoting equality, not just for women but for all.

        I have both a son and a daughter, and I see my son, while certainly respectful of all women (of all people for that matter), not buying into the stereotypes. I think many young people feel the same. However, that all starts in the home and what they see by example.

        Thanks again for your thoughts!

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    5. I so much believe that women and men working together for common goals is the ultimate success. It is the character of the individual, in my opinion, not their gender.

      Women need to realize their value and understand how much power they have. Use that to lead by example.

      Great blog post Kimberly! It is definitely working on the minds of thought leaders to define their opinions. Touche' !!

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      Replies
      1. Thank you for your comments. I am really hoping that discussions like this are not even necessary in a few years. After all, we are all part of one country working towards what should be common goals!

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