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Lately, I hear a lot of comments that women are not special and they should stop thinking that they are. Well, I disagree with those espousing that concept.

 

Women are special and for so many reasons, including that she makes it through the day with all of the challenges she has being a woman.

 

Most times, a woman is talked over, talked down to and talked at in disrespectful, unacceptable ways on a daily basis.

 

Men call us emotional whenever they want to “put us in our place. “

And they don’t hesitate to tell us to stop being emotional in front of others.

 

I was surprised last month when Senator Ron Paul told an anchor woman on TV to stop being emotional when she responded to something he said by stating some facts to counter his opinion.

 

Wow! She just sat there when he told her to stop being emotional and did not respond.

 

I think she too was a little stunned by his attack. Well, women don’t have the luxury of being stunned and not standing up for themselves as situations happen that need rectifying. One response she could have used is: “Since when is stating facts being emotional Senator.”

 

That’s one of the biggest challenges women face daily, being stunned at what others say and thinking in their heads “did he just say that?”

 

Women must stop being stunned by the abuse and insults being directed at them. Women have to learn to prepare for any and every possible attempt to throw them off their game, or under the bus.

 

Women are special, but that doesn’t give you a pass.

 

You must work harder than men. Yes, because until it changes that’s the truth.

 

Women have to prepare and over prepare. Be ready for anything and everything.

 

Want to present an idea at a meeting?

 

When no one responds to your idea, be prepared for someone to steal it and claim it as his own five minutes later or in the next meeting.

 

What will you say?

 

How will you say it?

 

There are many ways to put a man, (or another woman), in his place and claim your rightful ownership of your idea. Be Proactive, Not Reactive.

 

If you plan for every situation that can arise to throw you off your game, you will speak up for yourself and gain the respect that is rightfully yours.

 

Not only does it put the stealer of your idea on notice, but it also puts everyone in the room on notice that you will stand in your power and not be pushed around.

 

There was a recent twitter flurry on “hepeated – when a woman suggests an idea and it’s ignored, but then a guy says same thing and everyone loves it.”  

 

And then there is all of this talk, the doors of opportunity are open, all women have to do is walk through.

 

Yes, walk through, but be prepared for the push back on the other side.

 

There will be people who don’t want you to walk through that door. If you want to, I say go for it, but also be prepared to encounter an obvious, and not so obvious, bias against women.

 

Sometimes it is a conscious bias and sometimes it is implicit bias. You’ll know it when you see it. Be prepared for it.

 

Have tools in your toolbox and know how to use them, what to say and how to say it so that you get your point across and not be labeled a bitch.

 

Yes, you must be careful of that label. We have a tendency to label everyone with whom we come into contact. Women, man, mom, bitch, aggressive, single mom, athlete, player, boy, hard, soft, pushover.

 

This labeling, doesn’t allow us to look past the label to see the person behind it. What does that person have to offer? Does s/he have a point? What’s the pain behind the label? How can we work together for our betterment?

 

There are plenty of studies indicating that when there are more women in leadership roles there is improvement to the bottom line. That being said, women are lacking in the majority of the highest positions in corporate America.

 

Some companies get this and welcome women and ensure their inclusion so they are fully contributing members of the corporate community.

 

The big accounting firms seem to have been in the forefront of this movement and Bloomberg honors diversity and ensures inclusion.

 

Wake up corporate America and wake up women. Go for it, if that’s your goal (and I hope it is).

 

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare.
  • Work hard and then harder.
  • Find a member on the senior management team you want to work with and expect some very direct, hard feedback when you don’t do enough.
  • Take on those hard projects and work hard enough to be proud of every product you produce.
  • Expect lots of crapola along the way.
  • Keep your eye on the prize.

 

Remember every situation can be handled when you stand in your power and act fearlessly with heart and conviction. Women are special, but that doesn’t give you a pass.

 

Please let me know your thoughts and if there are situations you have found yourself in that you wished you had handled differently.

francesca@fearlesstalentdev.com

 

Fearlessly,

Francesca Burack

Fearless Talent Development, Inc. is dedicated to creating workplace environments where everyone’s valued and encouraged to participate in the profitability of their company.

Author: “Women Are Special 123 Reasons Why”

www.fearlesstalendev.com