How does a woman increase her impact and strengthen her personal leadership brand? Women can use their voices and be heard to catapult their careers.
It is more important than ever that the voices of women are heard. Women are the keystone to the new reality we seek — a reality based on collaboration, dignity, and respect for all. Through a series of small actions done over time, women can achieve the greater impact they want to make.
A surprising nugget showed up as I have coached women in the C-suite. I have been told multiple stories about how asking a thought-provoking question during an all-employee meeting, or at a meeting with management, was the spark that took their career to the next level. Something as simple as a question highlighted their ability to think differently and encouraged mentors to seek them out.
Everything that’s been created in this world has been through the lens of history — “his-story.” Every rule. Every framework. Every societal expectation. Every workplace guideline. It is time for us to actually slow down and look at the world through her story. Now, we have an opportunity as women — to look at the world through the lens of “her-story.” Why is that important? Because ‘her-story’ always evolves into ‘our story’.
While women continue to seek and obtain C-level jobs and have slightly increased to 25% of the workforce among the largest 1000 companies, a large disparity between men and women in these roles still exists. Even as we have the first female Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and Amy Coney Barrett, appointed as the 5th woman to serve the vacant Supreme Court seat, we still have work to do.
With the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may we all be inspired to reevaluate everything and use our voice to make real change. I buy into her quote that ‘Women need to be where decisions are made.’
3 Tips to Use Your Voice in Your Part of the Professional World.
1. Write a new story. Every practice in every single industry needs to be looked at with a new lens. Whatever norms were established in the beginning, we need to have an honest conversation about whether those are relevant or whether they need to be rewritten. Be fearless. Bring up that conversation and you might be surprised that you bring voice to what many were thinking.
2. Claim your credibility. No one else will do it for you. I spend an enormous amount of time coaching women along this perspective. With thousands of women that I have coached and trained, I made a sobering discovery. There are not enough degrees, Ph.Ds, or certifications to give us the credibility that we will not give ourselves. In your reflection IS the answer you seek. Claim that credibility so you can be an advocate for important change which needs to take place.
3. Be courageous. Since the 1964 release of The Feminine Mystique — a book that sold over a million copies — women have been pushing their way into a system that was not originally designed for them. Great strides have been made, but more rewiring needs to be done. The old rulebook no longer applies and simply tweaking the old system is no longer enough. As women, we can start voicing new ideas — boldly offering new ideas. In this lifetime we are going to watch a dismantling of systems unlike anything that has been seen in the past century. It will appear scary at first glance; however, we can choose to see it as an invitation to create new systems rooted in dignity and respect.
You are a way-shower, dear one. Be brave.