Lean in or opt out?
If I had a dollar for every time someone (myself included) said, “But that’s how a man would do it!” at the SheHive, I wouldn’t have to pay rent next month. Each time I hear it - or say it - I cringe a little bit. Partially because I don’t want the SheHive to become the She-Woman-Man-Haters club, but mostly because I don’t want any of us to think that we have to become more like men.
Or more like anyone for that matter.
The gender gap is a very real thing. Women have to work twice as hard for half the recognition and about three-quarters the pay. And currently less than 4% of Fortune 500 companies are headed by women. It sucks, it’s wrong and it is a detriment to our society. But striving to “be more like a man” and emulating the very people who have built corrupt systems for their own favor strikes me as a hell of a ineffective way to fix a broken system.
What would happen if…
What would happen if we stopped trying to emulate men and we started being who we really are at work? What if we took our whole light-filled, emotional, nurturing, sharing and caring selves into the office? How much more could we get done in a day if we weren’t wasting our psychological energy trying to decide how to show up? And how much fucking better would it feel?
More so, what if living life as your true, kind self was the real measure of success instead of position, power or pay?
There is a wealth of research out there that supports the theory that a feminine style of leadership - taking long-term and global perspectives, being nurturing and empathetic, sharing floor time, power and credit, and thinking in terms of the network instead of self - makes for stronger companies, both in revenue and in employee satisfaction.
So what if, instead of spending our time learning how to be something we’re not, we opted out of those places that didn’t honor our feminine qualities? What if we all stopped working in places and spaces that told us we were less than? What if we all marched our asses over to the companies that are adopting feminine leadership or, better yet, started forming them ourselves?
We’re definitely talented enough and smart enough to do so.
The world cannot resist authenticity
Now, of course, we can’t all just walk away from our jobs today. But we can all take small steps wherever we are to be less afraid to be more of ourselves. Science, the SheHive and the Universe is on your side.
What is one thing you are going to do differently at work (or anywhere!) today to be more yourself? I’d love to here about it. Shoot me an email or drop a comment below. I’d love to hear about it!
With much love and gratitude,
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