When I read the title of this article, Female politicians are inspiring confidence in working women. I was curious. I watched Monday night’s debate and I was not inspired by Hillary Clinton in the least. In all fairness, I was not inspired by Donald Trump either. But I wondered, based on that title, how are female politicians inspiring working women.
The study, done by an online accounting company in the UK, sited Britain’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Yet the message is universal - especially for us midlife women. Here’s what they learned through the study:
- About 20% of the women surveyed said, inspired by women politicians, they felt more confident about speaking up and getting a seat at the table. 10% of women are more willing to negotiate a salary or use their negotiating skills for business deals. I’ll bet a lot of men could be laughing at those percentages. 10% and 20% are still low numbers…but I’ll bet you Victory Chicks aren’t surprised. We know…
- The study also says something I don’t think they needed to do a study to learn. It says that women are more inspired to and confident about starting their own businesses. I think that’s true, but I don’t think that’s about seeing female politicians succeed. Based on my experience with hundreds of women, I think that’s more about women being tired of working hard and still not getting a seat at the table and still not getting paid what they deserve. Instead, they’re starting businesses and banking on themselves.
Now, in all fairness to the system, I think it’s better than it used to be, but better isn’t good. Not when the percentage of women in executive positions in corporations is still under 20% & the number of women on boards of directors is still less than 10%.
But something else the study found made me laugh. It said that there is “still a gender gap for how seriously women are taken in the workplace.” HA! Ya think??
Last week I ran into a friend of mine at Costco. She’s a statistician with a master’s degree and a bunch of letters after her name. She’s truly a bean counter kind of woman – which, since I’m not, sometimes makes me crazy. But sometimes I love that she sees things so differently. So, she has a statistician-style job in a bank lending institution. Earlier this year she completed a big deal study for her company.
In the months since completing the study, the accuracy of it has outpaced the accuracy of all the previous studies. As a result, the company wants to present it to a group of bigwigs. All that’s good for her. EXCEPT for this: her bosses are having her male co-worker make the presentation – the presentation of her details, her findings and HER conclusions. She’ll be there to answer questions, but not make the opening presentation. If that was you, wouldn’t that just burn your buns???
Naturally she challenged that decision. They told her she wasn’t….hmmm….I can’t recall the exact word she said they used – but, basically, she wasn’t flashy enough.
And you know what? Not that I want to defend her sot of a boss, but I can understand it. It’s what I and many women have said for years and years. A guy does a little something and makes it sound like a really big deal. A woman does a really big deal and makes it sound like it’s a little something.
And, I know, guys, like corporations, are getting better. But, here’s the thing: I think we Victory Chicks get the concept of “the presentation is everything” when it comes to love-related things, like giving gifts, but not in how we tout ourselves. We use words like “just” and “little” – you know, how you make a special dinner, get a gift & bake a cake for your sweetie’s B-day & then say, “I just made you a little something. You worked for hours, but make it sound like it's no big deal. Why?
As Oprah herself once put it, we play ourselves small. We Victory Chicks, we can do better. We need to do better so we can serve our goals and our victories more efficiently.
What do you think?
What is the Victorious Woman Project?
Founded by Annmarie Kelly, the Victorious Woman Project is a female empowerment resource containing articles, classes, books, podcasts and other tools for women over 40.