As a business woman, I have a personal investment and inherent desire to advocate for the career-oriented woman. I know the struggle and balance it takes to efficiently launch a business while simultaneously being a present wife and/or mother. There are many days I lay my head down at night and feel I failed at one of them. But I know women, and the strength and fire inside that fuels us each day. Although my beliefs may seem bias, research provides tried and true facts and history that support the rise of the female executive in the workplace.
They are educated.
Women have been leading the nation’s trend in higher education. In the 25-34 age group, 37.5% of women have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while only 29.5% of men do in the same age bracket. Long gone is the day where a woman had the choice of being a wife, a secretary or a teacher. The increase of college educated women as opened the door to endless career opportunities.
When faced with adversity, their drive strengthens.
Women are hungry. And after lifetimes of fighting for equal rights, there are still workplace inequalities they face every day. Whether it be equal pay, or silent discrimination of employee hiring or promotions, women still need to work that much harder to prove themselves. In the face of adversity, women have shown persistence and their unwillingness to give up. For instance, in 1869 the National Woman Suffrage Association was formed with the primary goal to achieve voting rights for women through a constitutional amendment. It wasn’t until 1920 when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was signed, giving women the right to vote. You read that right, it took 51 years of fighting to be granted the right to vote. If they were willing to work that hard with the odds against them, what would stop women now?
Their makeup promotes a different way of thinking.
Psychologists have explained time and time again the difference between the male and female brain. Amongst the largest difference is the ability for men to compartmentalize areas of their life and business. This contributes to the logical thinking skills they possess. The female mind, however, does not have such a linear path, but rather a constantly changing course in which everything is relative to each other and persistently analyzed. They take on a broad view approach that zeros in on the big picture, analyzing how each possible decision affects the account as a whole. This methodology creates an environment of doing business with your company, clients and partners best interest in the forefront of all decisions.
They believe in the power of relationships.
Women understand the time and dedication it takes to form a solid, trusting relationship. They have mastered the technique by asking the questions that aren’t asked, listening (fully and earnestly), assuming responsibility after failure to meet expectations and finding solutions when it feels like there are none. Taking the time to find out ‘what can I do for you’ before asking ‘what can you do for me’ is one of the most important objectives in their personal best practices.
Their business negotiations are as firm as their handshakes.
The Art of Negotiation may have been written by a man, but the process has been worked and refined by a woman. While they may be petite in size and their voices soft, make no mistake that females do not back down easily. They own the ability to strategically negotiate agreements without giving up their bottom line. With respect built from long invested relationships, partners and colleagues trust that what details they stand firm on are mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
So the next time a newly hired female enters your workplace, make nice… she may be your next boss.