Stop taking things so personally. There, I said it! In the past, I have worried about directness in favor of political correctness (which has its place), but stating my opinion is in my blood. Especially when it helps other women.
It all started with my ultimate role model, my mother. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, she instilled in me a proud sense of what it means to be a feminist, and I also proudly call myself one. In fact, most men in my life also call themselves feminists, which I think only makes sense because equality truly benefits us all.
We still have a long way to go as a society, especially in the workplace, as made clear in a study cited in an article about Sheryl Sandberg’s, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”.
Called the Howard/Heidi study, it went like this:
Students were given a case study about Heidi Roizen, a successful venture capitalist, outgoing and with a huge network. She was powerful and confident. Students were asked to rate her on both her accomplishments AND how appealing she would be as a potential colleague. Then the name was changed to Howard Roizen and repeated to a different group.
The conclusion is more than unsettling:
“While the students rated them equally in terms of success, they thought Howard was likable while Heidi seemed selfish and not ‘the type of person you would want to hire or work for.’ Sandberg’s conclusion: when a man is successful, he is well liked. When a woman does well, people like her less.”
This study highlights what I’m already aware of, which is that I’ve always known I was a little different. I’ve always been a Heidi Roizen in spirit. But it was only recently that I realized the underlying cause… I, for the most part, think and operate in ways that are typically seen as male traits.
This is how I get stuff done, because I fearlessly act like the boss that I am. Not a #GirlBoss, just a #Boss.Don't be a #Girlboss, just be a #boss. Click To Tweet
Lucille Ball was the perfect example of what this looks like because when she became the sole owner of Desilu Productions, it made her the first female head of a major production company. This did not come without plenty of backlash, but she built an empire by acting like a man behind the scenes.
One of my favorite quotes from Ms. Ball is, “Now get the hell out of here and go change the world.”
I live my life like that and attribute it to much of my success in business. After all, masculine assertiveness is lucrative.
Here’s How I Operate Like a Man: As Articulated By My Closest Friends
- Perfectionism isn’t an issue. I get things done (off my plate) quickly… and know it won’t be perfect.
- Gossip doesn’t hold me back. I don’t care about what other people think of me.
- I don’t censor myself. I say what I’m thinking and don’t mince words.
- I don’t ruminate much. I don’t stress or (for the most part think about) the past.
- Overthinking isn’t my style. I don’t obsess about what could have happened.
- I’m not worried about how I came off to someone. I don’t over-think things or replay conversations.
- I don’t spend excessive time on grooming. See under: I don’t wash my face before I go to bed.
- Hormones aren’t a hindrance. I don’t get moody during my period.
- I will change the channel or skip the show. I don’t like musicals.
- I prefer dogs. I like dogs more than cats
- I won’t bend over backward for anyone. I have very good boundaries.
- I’m free of unearned shame. I don’t feel guilty for not sending Christmas cards.
What does all of this mean?
It’s not to say that having any of these qualities in any way makes you weak, because it doesn’t. You’re simply less likely to be set up for disappointment if you have an internal locus of control.
After all, you can control what comes from the inside (like the way that you talk to and about yourself) much more effectively than you can what happens outside of you.
This gives you more power in essentially every situation. Personal power empowers you to do things like take risks and start that business, despite any lingering sexism. There is plenty of evidence that sexism in the workplace is alive and well, but I won’t accept the undermining status quo that puts women at a disadvantage far too often, particularly in light of the #metoo movement. Claiming our own person power is essential to fearlessly going after what we deserve.
Surrounding yourself with likeminded powerhouse women also sets you up for success.
At Hera Hub, we’ve created coworking spaces by and for women who strengthen and encourage each other to grow into their fullest potential. Especially when they need to act like a man and take what they want with confidence. Because they deserve an equal shot, which is only possible if they start with the same amount of self-worth and charisma.
Together, I know we feminist women can continue to step up and show the world who’s boss!