Well, I read another article today about how fewer women are getting to the boards of companies and how even fewer women are getting to the CEO position.
Why am I bored? There are two reasons:
- Firstly, I have read so many articles about this recently and whilst I am a champion of women in leadership roles; what I struggle with is being defined by the old paradigm. What do I mean by that? The old paradigm of big companies and big boards and being one of the boys – where you have to become a version of yourself to ‘fit’ in – which might run counter to who you actually are. A paradigm where working all the hours is a requirement to be considered successful and a paradigm where you have to prove yourself over and over again to justify your position.
- Secondly, I am bored because it’s time to sing a new tune. There are so many amazing women out there starting and running their own businesses, making money and creating employment – these are the women we should be highlighting more. Why don’t we? Well, that’s because we’re still subscribing to the old paradigm…where the emphasis is on women getting to the top of big companies where the culture is rich in male preferences (I appreciate not all big businesses are like this but if it’s so different, why are we still dragging our feet about quotas??)
If the women who are running their own businesses get to a certain point and can get no further, then this is an area where we must invest more time and emphasis and create a space where women can aspire to greater heights and success.
The key, though, is that in the new paradigm, women get to decide what works for them – everyone is different and each woman has a different aspiration
- perhaps they are seeking a greater life integration with their loved ones, or
- maybe they just want to create a comfortable lifestyle and no more, or
- you might have a woman with a big dream of creating a global company.
Let’s stop assuming that just because women aren’t getting to the top in traditional companies means women are not successful. In reality, we are reinventing what it is to be successful and that for me is a far more exciting prospect – especially when you consider the positive consequences for our families, loved ones, our communities and the global village.