It’s always helpful to have someone to look up to. Which is why it’s so important for all of us to see more women in high profile roles, on TV, in the media, and in business.
It still remains the case, sadly, that flicking through any newspaper will show you lots of pictures of men being serious and grown up but relatively few of women. (For purposes of this discussion I am exempting pictures of women arriving at premières, modelling clothes, etc; you can find plenty of those.)
It still remains the norm that board members are statistically more likely to be men.
It still remains the norm that senior executives are statistically more likely to be men.
That doesn’t automatically preclude them from being excellent role models. I’ve learned a lot from the men in my life.
However, as professional women we don’t want to be forever compromising our style being like the men. Many women of my generation (born in mid fifties) were only able to get the top by taking on male behaviours. For some women that wasn’t a problem as it was a style close to their own. That’s not true, however, for the majority of women.
Women bring added value to the table and we want to feel proud and loud about that. Companies that recognise the value of gender diversity are doing very well. If you’re in such a company, hooray. You probably won’t have any difficulty in finding a senior woman to be a role model, and possibly even a mentor. If you’re not, your path is much harder, (in many different ways). You’ll need to cast your net wider, maybe through networking, joining groups etc. You may find role models you don’t even know, for example, amongst my Inspiring Women section.
Do you have a role model? Someone who has inspired you to be better? Someone who helps you find that best version of you? Do share with us in the comments section!
Speak Up is an audio version of my one day course for professional women, redesigned for individuals. You can listen when it suits you in convenient bite size chunks. Currently available on a great launch offer – but hurry, it’s ending soon! Details here.
Posted on August 14th, 2015 by Jane