What You Can Learn The Gender Dance in Business

The Gender Dance In Business

The Gender Dance in Business isn’t about who leads, nor is it about men verses women.

Let’s start with some eye-opening facts from the Center for American Progress;

  1. Women earn 60% of Masters degrees, over 47% of all law and medical degrees, and 44% of Masters in business degrees.
  2. Women hold 14.6 % of Executive Officer Positions
  3. Women hold a mere 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEO’s
  4. Women hold only 16.9 % of Fortune 500 Board Seats
  5. 45.4 % of associates are women in the legal field, only 15% are Equity Partners.

80% of Consumer Spending is Controlled by Women

These staggering figures blew my mind. I could take this moment and choose a victim and underdog as well as a villain as many do.

I grew up in and have worked in male dominated businesses my entire life. As a child, I worked for my family in the motorcycle industry. When I started, (I am not divulging the year – wink-wink) I was the only female behind the counter or on the sales floor.

So, the dance began, me working with gear-heads…me being tested…learning the answers…being tested…earning each hard-won mantel only to have the testing continue. Over the years, it didn’t matter how good I got, I was always preparing for the next test.

Ladies, yes, I can hear you all, with one voice, yelling:

  1. It’s not fair!
  2. How degrading!
  3. Finger pointing at your male counterparts
  4. Getting angry and being outraged

I Fully – Wholeheartedly – Disagree

Yes, I disagree! The Gender Dance in Business honed my skills and took my skills to the next level. If I did not have the opposition, I would not have learned determination. As a result I learned to be independent, rise above the fray.

  1. If I did not have the testing, I would not have the ability to think on my feet.
  2. If I did not have the humiliation, my ego would be writing checks my pocketbook couldn’t cash.

It is because of my experience with the Gender Dance in Business:

  1. I am able to visualize the business map.
  2. I can solve the business puzzles in front of me.
  3. I trust my gut in all business situations.

You Are Right – It’s Not Fair

No – it isn’t fair, and I thank the Lord. If everything were equal, I would not have the skills and advantages I possess today.

I owe my mentors, both male and female, a debt of gratitude! If it wasn’t for them pushing, challenging, poking, prodding, and allowing me to fail miserably, I would not have learned the invaluable lessons they gave me.

The men and women in my life: my Grandfathers (both entrepreneurs), my Great-Grandmother (entrepreneur), my Grandmother (entrepreneur), my Father and Mother (entrepreneurs), business owners (entrepreneurs), my sons (entrepreneurs), my husband (entrepreneur), and my work mates – CEO’s, Presidents, Vice Presidents, Managers, and staff have pushed and molded me into the  successful person I am today.

I am Not Willing to Settle for Average

In retrospect, because of the negative experiences, I could have made excuses as a way to make everyone wrong. That choice would have been counter-productive for who I have become! I would not have learned a thing! I would have been relegated to emulating 51% of the population, living a stable, average life. Settling is not who I am. I want to:

  1. Be challenged
  2.  Learn and grow
  3. Live a life in my version of excellence
  4. Be known for the contributions I make and the stand I take.

The Gender Dance in Business is an Opportunity

The Dance was and is my opportunity to gain knowledge, understand human nature, and recognize human failings for what they are – the greatest opportunity of all.

As long as the conversation is revolving around Us vs Them – We All Lose!