Rosa Parks, Misty Copeland, Michelle Obama, Mae Carol Jemison, Sandra Day O’Connor, Margaret Thatcher, and Angela Merkel… what type of feelings do you have when you hear these names? I feel impressed, motivated, in-awe.
I recently, held a women’s roundtable networking event that was aimed at getting women together to discuss real issues that women face in corporate America. We asked questions like “do women help each other enough in a professional environment? What three things would you like to see women start doing? Do women promote their accomplishments on professional social medial platforms liked Linkedin?” More interesting than the variety of responses we received, which were quite interesting, was the common general lack of self-awareness. And it hit me, that we as women in a professional environment are often so focused on achieving goals and demonstrating value, that we overlook our own power.
Yes, being a professional woman, whether an entrepreneur or in corporate America, is a position of power. It demonstrates managerial, organizational, intellectual and motivational skills that combined with the care-taker role women also play, makes for a powerful member of society. Not only can we lead a board meeting, lead a company to record-breaking profit, or motivate a team to accomplish its goal, we can nurture our children, support our spouses, organize an amazing social event, all while making the most amazing cup of coffee.
Women who step into the work place, have not discarded their traditional mother/nurturer roles, rather, they have in an incredible feat of sheer will power, figured out how to maintain the mother/nurturer role and in addition, become intellectual and innovative leaders in almost every career that exists.
Here are some definitions of power: 1) the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events, 2) the ability to act or produce an effect, 3) the amount of energy put out or produced in a given amount of time, and 4) the ability or capacity to act or do something effectively. Can you see the similarities?
Women are not only powerful; they embody every essence of the word. So what is the difference between professional men and women? Men tend to be aware of their power and use it to further their objectives. Women, as I saw during the roundtable event, use power, recognize indirectly that they are powerful, but they do not openly acknowledge and wield their power. Maybe it is because we are profound thinkers and our role as a caretaker/nurture makes us less inclined to brag. But part of truly being powerful is acknowledging the power that one has. Now true to our sex, we can choose to acknowledge power in our own way, but I encourage all professional women, during this women’s history month to accept, acknowledge and see the power they have and in doing so take control of that power. Once you control your power you can harness it and direct it to support and assist other women in achieving their goals and acknowledging their own innate strength. Once a characteristic is acknowledged it can be used to its full advantage. Women throughout history have fought so hard to give us, the women of today, the opportunity to be powerful. Thus, as the professional women of today, let us honor the women who have paved the way for us by openly acknowledging how powerful we are and us that power to advance other professional women. It is innate, it is our right and it is our responsibility.
Happy Women’s History month to all the beautiful powerful women of the world!
Written by Amber M. Johns, Principal