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;
- Women earn 60% of Masters degrees, over 47% of all law and medical degrees, and 44% of Masters in business degrees.
- Women hold 14.6 % of Executive Officer Positions
- Women hold a mere 4.6% of Fortune 500 CEO’s
- Women hold only 16.9 % of Fortune 500 Board Seats
- 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:
- It’s not fair!
- How degrading!
- Finger pointing at your male counterparts
- 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.
- If I did not have the testing, I would not have the ability to think on my feet.
- 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:
- I am able to visualize the business map.
- I can solve the business puzzles in front of me.
- 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:
- Be challenged
- Learn and grow
- Live a life in my version of excellence
- 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!