There used to be a wonderful expression: “Women have to be twice as good to be considered equal to a man.” Luckily that is not difficult. As much as I love this expression, let’s face it ladies, we ALL KNOW that just is not true.
If you watched Mad Men, you saw that it wasn’t until the 60’s that women were even allowed to wear pantsuits to work, and the only time they were allowed in the boardroom was bringing coffee or cocktails!
In the 50’s. 60’s and 70’s, straight, white men almost had to devise a plan to FAIL. They had it all–the wind was at their backs, and life was good. NOW things have changed, BUT not enough. Women are still earning LESS; misogyny is still rife, and like racial prejudice, prejudice against women is still a thing.
Why is the unflattering term “COUGAR” used to describe a 30-year -old woman who dates a 23-year-old man? If it were the other way around, it would be considered perfectly appropriate for a well-suited marriage.
Most big businesses are MALE DOMINATED–and men are not used to women speaking up. A new era of women are taking the stage now, but after a long history of being ignored, HOW DO WOMEN FIND THEIR VOICES?
Many of my female clients are incredibly nervous to give a presentation to the “higher ups” when the room will be male dominated.
Here is what all ladies need to know:
- Be PREPARED. Be BRIEF, be BRILLIANT and Be GONE. If you are not a confident public speaker, learn how to be. Remember, men speak far less words than women.
- YOU would not have been invited to speak IF YOUR OPINION wasn’t valued.
- Dress like a professional – I don’t care what the Corporate Culture is – if the boys wear sweat pants – you need to dress better to be taken seriously.
- Kill all filler words – like, umm, ahhs, you knows and stuff. It is a poor reflection on your credibility.
- Put your hand up–not a little girly, half hand–RIGHT UP. Be seen. Put your hand up like a man would.
- Never use words like: “I could be wrong but I thought that maybe…”
- Instead: “We need to buy a million shares in —————-NOW!” Be able to give your audience a concise answer why in 10 – 20 seconds or less.
- Get a MALE MENTOR. Men will give you totally different feedback than a woman. It is a man’s world right now. Turn to them for advice. They know the playing field. By the way, men LOVE to give advice.
CAN WOMEN HAVE IT ALL?
It depends on the resources available to you, the requirements of your job and on what having it all means to you and your family. It takes a village to be able to have it all and requires a lot of planning and preparation. You can do it!
If you want to be a SENIOR EXECUTIVE or Partner in a law firm, you will need a team to support you. You MUST attend those late dinners with clients, go on unexpected overseas trips, and be available at all hours. I worked at Disney for many years, and there were many VP’s and Presidents of Divisions that were women with very young children; but they worked the brutal schedules of the men. Some had stay-at–home partners, some had full or part-time help, but none juggled everything on their own. Women are amazing but not that amazing.
One huge final tip:
“Be the woman you would like to work for.”
MEN have shown solidarity in the OLD BOYS CLUB. Now it is WOMEN’S TURN to empower and support ONE ANOTHER. A woman alone is fierce. As a group, women are a FORCE!
A click or call is all it takes to book a PRIVATE PUBLIC SPEAKING SESSION for YOU or A WORKSHOP for the women you want to inspire to SPEAK UP in a MAN’S WORLD.
You will learn:
How to craft a compelling speech or talk for your audience.
How to speak clearly and succinctly to get your point across.
How to manage constant interruptions when you are speaking.
What to look for in a mentor.
Overcome the negative self talk passed down to you by generations of being a “polite, quiet little girl.”