3 Things I Learned About Why There Are Few Women Leaders
Growing up, I’ve always been told that the only way to really grow and better understand yourself is by keeping an open mind to opportunities and opinions of others. I’ve always replenished this segment of my life through traveling, doing something completely out of my comfort zone and speaking with like-minded folks.
As entrepreneurs, I think this is a vital form of learning and eventually becomes a way of implementing experiences into the way we run a business and treat others. As women entrepreneurs, resources are everywhere from fellow women leaders and the best place I’ve gotten inspiration from are the TED Women talks.
There is one talk I constantly go back to for some uplifting words and I thought to share the wisdom. It is a talk by Sheryl Sandberg titled “Why we have too few women leaders” – excellent speech and highly recommended. It was one of those talks where you’d constantly find yourself saying, “YES! AGREED!” or in my case, “PREACH IT GIRL!” Backed up by studies between men and women in the workforce, Sheryl did a great job of explaining why these numbers are the way that they are and ironically, they had to do with much more with the mentality and confidence of a woman.
Here’s what I learned:
1. Sit at the table.
It’s the doubtfulness we have within ourselves in our own abilities that can hinder us from being 100% ourselves in the workplace. It could be caused by intimidation from upper levels or perhaps others who may have accomplished more. Whatever may be the case, women systematically underestimate our own abilities according to data from a study between men and women where “success and likability is positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women.” What we need to remember is that we must own our own success. Similar to sitting on the sidelines at a basketball game, we need to push ourselves to go out onto the court and be the star – and that can’t be achieved self-confidence and the belief in ourselves that we can do so.
2. Make your partner a real partner.
Speaking to the inequality at home, Sheryl illuminates how working women at home may have disadvantages in the workplace. With studies showing how women do twice as much house work and taking care of the children than their male partners, there may be a limitation to the amount of work put into the workplace. What I loved most about this saying is that it boils down to being with somebody who gives an equal amount of work for the family. It also speaks the gender differences when raising a child, to give that encouragement to both sons and daughters to work hard and be independent.
3. Don’t leave before you leave.
It’s been apparent through studies that women have been dropping out of the business world faster due to their commitments in having a family. The main message we need to remember is, you can still go after your goals and dreams even after you decide to start a family.
The statistics on exactly how many women business leaders there were in the corporate sector was unbelievable considering how much more civil rights and eligibility to move up in the business world now compared to years ago. What we should all remember is that the future of women in business relies in ourselves and we should continue to advocate this to younger women and our own daughters in the fight for equality.
What are some of your favorite TEDWomen talks that speak to us entreprenistas?