Even with current trending articles to the contrary, the myth of the Alpha Queen who fails to help other women in the workplace continues to resurface. I’ve had no experience of other women, or indeed men, “doing me wrong” at work. It always pains me to hear internalised misogyny and complaints about women not being good managers or mentors or even leaders. Sure, I’ve experienced horrible bosses, mainly men, some women, but it’s a people thing, not a woman thing. People can be wholly unsupportive and difficult to work for, no matter who they are.
Far from being in it just for themselves, a vast number of successful women are helping other women climb the career ladder. Mentoring and sponsoring are the buzzwords of modern business. There’s a distinction to be made here: a mentor encourages and supports someone in their existing role, whereas a sponsor bigs them up to others.
Many women dream of leaving their workplace to live a better and more meaningful life. Fear of saying goodbye to an enviable salary and disappointing family and friends stops most in their tracks. After years of building a promising career, the prospect of throwing it all away to chase a “change-the-world” passion can seem hugely intimidating.
I’ve always hated the word ‘feminist’. The connotations that surround the term are far too negative, but I would certainly call myself one in regards to what it stands for. Now, I’m not an active campaigner that attends every women’s march or protest, but I am the new breed of motivational speaker trying to influence young women to use their powers, greatly and intellectually, whether it be in a working environment or through their day-to-day lives.
In this day-and-age, women are brought up to feel like they have no choice, but to take on the world. We are automatically given a responsibility from an infant that we must start a family, we must marry, we must make something of ourselves to rebel against ‘the system’, and show we are not all simply made for fertility and culinary.
I have always been extremely rebellious as a child, but using that rebellion in a sense of what is best for me and my path. I’ve never played by the rules, and I believe women shouldn’t either. We are constantly told what we can and cannot do in society, from the way we dress, to how we should talk and appear. In business, it is just as difficult to be taken remotely seriously in any boardroom surrounded by dominating egos, money and power, but it is our duty, as women, to ensure we are never overlooked.
Women are controlled by what ‘is expected’. We are expected to be dominated in a working environment, we are expected to agree and follow through, we are expected to be not who we are. We are expected to be silenced.
Do you think a new business can really progress in a forever-evolving industry if they are not, current, motivated, highly driven, aware of today’s technology, industries, trends and diverse?
Women feel the need to constantly justify themselves to society, from taking on a ‘manly-like’ job, to riding motorbikes, to even hard labour, why do women feel that they have to convince the world they are enough?
It is because our powerful role models are diminished, and especially for young millennial women, we have limited options. For university students, who do they have who is young, powerful, motivated and successful to look up to? Popstars and models. The false-morphed lifestyle which has twisted the press into thinking women who are half naked, thin and rich is the only avenue they have, to making something for themselves.
It’s never been harder to feel accepted than it is now. But the point is, you should never feel like you belong in a box, you should be eager to go in every opportunity, situation and industry. Women have been placed into communities, careers and categories of what society feels is right for decades, and until now, we have pushed these boundaries; destroyed them even.
We have the power to change positions, mind-sets, industries, rules and a way of life. We have the ability to merge something so simple into something beautiful. So, if you ever feel that you need to explain who you are and why you are doing something, we are women, and that is enough.