The 8th March is International Women’s Day. It’s a time of reflection for me. Why do we need this day? Why do we still need to highlight the discrepancy and inequalities? Why do they still exist? It may be a struggle for women in other countries, but why are women still underrepresented in positions of power in my country? Why is there a pay gap between men and women? How does this situation continue to be perpetuated? Glennon Doyle says “You need to look dead into your own eyes – at your real self. You need to make sure there are no lies there. You need to make sure the eyes in the mirror are the eyes of a woman you respect.”
Do women not value themselves?
I see amazing capable women in all walks of life. Why aren’t they leaders and decision-makers? Why aren’t we creating a world that is more compassionate and supports everyone in our society? Women are just as capable as men, so what creates this situation? Do women not value themselves?
The gender pay-gap
Women are usually paid 17% less than men. Men ask for things that will advance themselves four times more than women. Typically, me will ask sixteen times a year for things that will advance them. They don’t get everything they ask for, but because they ask for so many things, they will get something’s. They will ask to be released from time consuming tasks, and they be given to junior staff member. They will ask for referrals. Men hustle more. 20% of women say the never negotiate. Why is this? Why do women settle with what they have been given? Do they think they aren’t worthy of more?
This is about beliefs!
This isn’t about capability. This is about beliefs. How do women get trained to settle for less? If you are a woman, how have you had your wings clipped and been put in a cage without realising it? Or in your heart, do you realise you are caged, not reaching your full potential, but you don’t know how to change your situation? What beliefs have you taken onboard that mean you don’t ask for what you want? Doyle in her book Untamed reflects “If we keep passing down the legacy of martyrdom to our daughers, with whom will it end? Which woman ever gets to lie? And when does the death sentence begin?”
Do you know what you want?
In Untamed, Doyle lists what women desire:
“I want a minute to take a deep breath.
I want rest, peace, passion.
I want good food and true, wild, intimate sex.
I want a relationships with no lies.
I want to be comfortable in my own skin.
I want to be seen, to be loved.
I want joy and safety for my children and fro everyone else’s children. I want justice for all.
I want help, community, and connection.
I want to be forgiven, and I finally want to forgive.
I want enough money and power to stop feeling afraid.
I want to find my purpose down here and live it out fully.
I want to look at the news and see less pain, more love.
I want to look at the people in my life and really see them and love them.
I want to look in the mirror and really see myself and love myself.
I want to feel alive.
If women trusted and claimed their desires, the world as we know it would crumble. Perhaps that is precisely what needs to happen so we can rebuild a truer, more beautiful lives, relationships, families, and nations in their place.” Do you know what you want? I ask this pertinent question as you will settle for what’s happening if you don’t have a vision of what you want in your life.
What do you want in the next year? What do you want in the next 3 -5 years? I want women to be able to affect positive change in the world. To use their gifts of creating community, cooperation and cocreation. Why are we still celebrating International Women’s Day and highlighting inequality if we need these gifts in the world? Why are we in this mess? Data shows that a woman will have to be able to meet 95% of the criteria for a role before she will apply. Whereas a man will apply on matching 60% of the criteria. They see themselves as potential!
How do we raise girls in a way that creates these belief systems which result in them hold themselves back? If we can get a grip on that, we can stop perpetuating these beliefs.
How we are socialised
- Girls are socialised to be good and focus on the needs of others.
Boys are encouraged to be pushy, get ahead, set a goal and do it. Self-determination.
- Society doesn’t like aggressive women; it stigmatises them calling them bossy or selfish.
How we are regarded by our peers our friends affect our actions. If you head into a room of teenage girls and boys, groups of friends chilling, watching a film and ask “who want pizza?” you will get different reactions. Notice! The boys will self- resource and decide if they want pizza, they’ll say yes of no. The girls will look at each other to see what their friends want to do. Do they want pizza? There’ll be a spokeswoman for the group who will speak for them saying yes or no. These young women are already socialised to put the needs of others before themselves, to be liked, to fit in, to be acceptable.
“…women leaders often get conflicting feedback — told on the one hand that they’re too bossy or aggressive, but on the other that they should be more confident and assertive. A huge body of work has found that when women are collaborative and communal, they are not perceived as competent—but when they emphasize their competence, they’re seen as cold and unlikable, in a classic “double bind.” say Smith, Rosenstein & Nikolov.
Releasing negative societal biases is all our responsibility.
We need new ways of working to create a better society and businesses. People say what makes a successful leader are the positive traits such as compassion, which women leaders receive in their performance evaluations. Smith, Rosenstein & Nikolov ask “So why isn’t this translating into more women in these roles? It’s one thing to describe an ideal leader, it’s another to describe a real person’s performance without being influenced by stereotypes about their gender, or stereotypes about what a leader should be.”
I am sure this blog has just clarified what you know in your heart and from experience. However, I’m not here to just complain about the situation. I encourage you to change. I encourage you to ripple change through you, out into life. Becoming aware is the first step. It takes deep honesty to see how we are part of the systems and how we perpetuate them by our complicity. Selfless women make for an efficient society but not a beautiful, true or just one! When women lose themselves, the world loses its way.
It’s time to step forward shoulder to shoulder with other women. Let’s help those behind us by bringing them up to our level. Celebrate and stand up for women ahead of us as they are cutting the trail to a better future. Doyle asks “What if a responsible mother is not one who shows her children how to slowly die but how to stay wildly alive until the day she dies?” I’m an auntie, I see myself as an elder and it is my responsibility to bring my wisdom to the world through my actions.
I create safe spaces for women to take off their masks. Places where they can be in a circle with other women. This is an ancient way, that has supported women for millennia, taken online in our modern world. Join my free taster: Experience the Sisterhood Campfire session on Thursday at 7pm This is a time to relax and reconnect to your feminine wisdom.
If you recognise that you have lost yourself to our culture’s arbitrary expectations and you want a straight and direct root back to yourself… YOU, no onelse, then join my 10-week transformational programme. Value Yourself is what is says on the tin. It reconnects you to your truth, the wisdom of your life. What we need are women that are full of themselves. A woman who is full of herself knows and trust herself to say and do what must be done.
How can we create change in 2021? Be the change you want to see. You are the permission slip for other women and men to do something different. We can change the world through our beliefs, thoughts and actions. Black Lives Matter proves it! Now let’s change the world for 51% of the population! Let’s support each other to thrive.
This is a challenge to women in the workplace:
- How will you support women colleague and enable their success?
- What support structures are needed to create a supportive network for women within your organisation?
- Men as allies – the Millennial generation are much more likely to want time with their families, holidays and things women want. Connect with them as fathers of daughters, feminist and work with them to create a new culture.
This is a challenge to women outside the workplace:
- How can you encourage girls to grow up as self-determined?
- What will you show you value in a girl/woman? What will you say to her when you compliment her? Do you comment on how she looks or what she does?
- How can you support her to get the skills she needs to be able to negotiate for what she wants in life?
Message me firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know how I can facilitate workshops and ongoing women’s support networks in your business.
As always, every great journey starts with the first few steps. What will yours be? I’m interested to know your thoughts, please share them in the comments below. How have you been tamed? What do you desire? How will you reclaim you?