It's International Women's Day. What a great day to celebrate everything about women!
I've spent many years in the corporate and consulting world dominated by men. I've worked in industries like construction, mining, and manufacturing where I've had to step up and prove that I was worthy enough to be listened to and respected.
When consulting with businesses and working with Managers and Executive Teams, I would be drilled and questioned about my experience. I was treated like I didn't know what I was talking about. This didn't happen with my male colleagues. I constantly backed myself, kept reminding myself how many people I would be helping, worked above and beyond to demonstrate I was highly qualified and experienced, and the best person to help their business.
I was looked down upon, inferior, and had to prove, demonstrate and show evidence I knew the in's and out's around a forklift, the requirements to safely lift loads on a crane, the standards for guarding plant, etc. My male colleagues instantly gained rapport even if they were less-experienced...
In my early years (and it's still often the case in many businesses I work with), I am the only woman seated at the business table in meetings. Interestingly, throughout my career, I've reported to predominantly men. I have been very fortunate to have two inspiring and brilliant women who lead my teams over my career. They were influential, wanted to make a difference to the people around them, and showed tenacity and strength, bringing out the desire for me to do exactly the same.
The business world is focused on setting and achieving targets and goals. Goal setting has been (and still is) a huge part of what I'm required to do to achieve business objectives. It's based on results - how much fee for service income I can generate, what projects I can complete and finish on time, and the detail around improvements to the business achieved. For 4 out of 5 women, goal setting doesn't work. We aren't naturally geared to set goals based on financial gain and the number of projects finished.
Women ARE different from men.
Women have over 20 differences that aren't considered or catered for, in the business world. Our internal wiring is different. We see things from a different perspective. We are driven by emotions. I haven't succeeded in my career because I have objectives and targets to achieve. They were there, but they didn't drive me to success. I have succeeded because I have the internal gusto to help as many people as I can. I want people to be happy, successful, safe, and healthy. No traditional business course or degree has taught me to follow my emotions and why I have chosen to do the work I do.
If only the corporate world would take into consideration these innate differences between men and women. I firmly believe we'd have more women seated at the business table if they did. We would have stronger and more resilient teams and businesses. More women would be seated at the Board table and actively involved in business discussions.
No longer can we use the same personal development tools that were designed by men, for men. It doesn't work. I firmly believe we need to stop using the same blanket approach for everyone in the workplace.
Using the same personal development tools that work for men but not women is not gender equality.
Women ARE different. We need to cater to women when we are developing and leading them with an approach that WORKS for them. It's only then they will receive the results we want in business.
I'm fortunate I've found the personal development tool that was designed BY a woman, FOR women. It caters to women's needs and is helping women everywhere to succeed beyond their wildest dreams.
I encourage you to celebrate women's achievements today. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. If you need a personal development tool that's catered specifically for women, reach out to me.
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