To be a woman in business means facing some frustrations. One of the most obvious is being categorized as a woman in business. For example, lists of the Top 25 Female Executives. Hello? Where are the lists of the Top 25 Male Executives? They don’t exist because men are expected to be in the realm of business. As you work your way to the top, there are those who float the theory that you slept your way to the top. Even if it’s only intended as a joke, the same assertion isn’t made of men in the same position. The usual salts in the wound also come up. Being assertive and/or competitive can earn you a label for being a bitch. Being intelligent is usually met with either skepticism or the impression that you’re some sort of anomaly. This is particularly true if your strengths are found in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). That sends a very harmful message to our girls who are still in school.
So the question arises, how do we address these frustrations and present solutions to them? For starters, be yourself and when you encounter any small-mindedness, address it head-on. Be aware of the stereotypes but don’t try to avoid them. They’re out there and the only way to disparage them is to simply show prove them wrong. Finally, as you encounter articles about the Top 25 Female (Fill in the Blank), respond to it asking why women had to be singled out. Where is the list of the Top 25 (Fill in the Blank)? Women don’t want to compete only with other women. They want to compete with other people in their field without gender being a measurement of their success.