Recently I sat in a meeting with a successful female business owner. Her internal company was at a crossroad and it was an emotional time. As we began the meeting, I could see she was about to tear up . . . easy to recognize because I’ve been there. She did exactly what I had done; she got up, got something to drink and offered everyone something as well . . . then she quietly slipped out. We continued on with the meeting, she rejoined a few minutes later, we moved on. And it’s likely no one but her closest business partner and myself realized what happened.
I don’t think it’s any secret that at the top of the business mountain you tend to find more men than women. That being the case, it also shouldn’t be any secret that “typically” men think differently than women. Again, that being the case, it also shouldn’t be any surprise that with more men holding top leadership positions in business, the structure of corporate business is typically structured by the way men think. And because of this structure being predominantly male centric, it leaves very little room for women to enter . . . as women.
Disclaimer: This is not about men, nor is this in any way against men. I’m married to a man I love and respect very much, and we have two amazing sons, whom I am very proud to call my sons. No, this article is all about women.
What’s my point? I intend to continue exploring with all of you the answer to this question: How do women enter a predominantly male world of thought and structure and still powerfully be who we are made to be as women? Stop apologizing for who we are and start believing in who we are meant to be. To start, instead of asking or even demanding men to see us differently or treat us differently, we need to first see ourselves and each other (as powerful women) differently. And in so doing, we can discuss and learn how to bring ourselves, our true selves to that “big table” of decision making. To bring ourselves as capable, powerful, wise, intelligent beings who see connections that create a comprehensive picture of problem solving, vision, and forward movement. My hope in having this conversation is that we’ll awaken to who we truly are as powerful women. And at that moment there will be no stopping us as powerful women and powerful men.
So . . . Let’s begin the discussion of You being You. What does it look like for women to show-up powerfully, as women? How do we communicate? How do we handle conflict? How do we provide accountability? And how do we see each other as powerful women and applaud each other rather than use “B” words like “Bossy” or worse . . .? How? And you . . . you are needed in this discussion because it’s time to stop asking women to be men. It’s time to figure out how to be the powerful women we were intended to be. What say you?
SPOILER ALERT: Next week . . . You be You: Is it Okay to Cry at Work?
Barbara E Hogan is the Founder, CEO, and President of Timbelo, Inc., a woman-owned, WBENC / SBA 8(m) certified company specializing in strategic advisory services and culture. Barbara is also a co-Owner of Afidence, a local award-winning IT company launched in 2010.Considered a thought leader in strategic thinking, Barbara serves and leads in various Boards and Councils in the Cincinnati-Dayton region. Active in the community, Barbara is sought out as an inspirational speaker, a panelist for women's leadership, and as a facilitator/moderator for local business events. Barbara and husband, Bryan Hogan of twenty-five years celebrate their three amazing children and four even more amazing grandchildren. Barbara is also an Ordained, Sr. Chaplain with the IFOC.
Barbara has a compelling passion for impacting others and improving lives. Whether in the realm of her personal or professional life there is no distinction—people are important. She has a strong sense of integrity, bold thought leadership, and deep respect for others.
Recipient of the MADE Esprit de Corps Award in 2016 and recognized as a Cincinnati Women of Influence in 2015 by LEAD Tribune Media Group. Afidence was recognized as the Best IT Services Company in Dayton, named among the Top 25 Consulting Firms in Cincinnati, Ohio, was an honored recipient of the Goering Center Family & Private Business Award, and named as an Inc. 5000 Company in 2016 and 2017.