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Oh, but my darling, what if you fly? Erin Hanson, sums it up beautifully.

What if women had the confidence to be the biggest version of themselves in life and in business?

What if, as women, we stepped into our feminine power and ran the world, just like Beyonce says we do?

What if we could change the world?

 

I don’t watch the news. If something is major enough, it turns up on my Facebook feed through friends. The rest is generally a focus on the negative and is not at all newsworthy, while things that are, aren’t being talked about on prime time. But you could be living under rock and still know that things are fairly dire at the moment (or will be soon, without drastic change) – financially, environmentally and socially. Who runs the world?

 

Richard Branson is a keen investor of women for these three reasons:

  1. Teams with Female Founders outperform all-male teams (his research showed that even just one woman in a team meant an increase of up to 63% in performance)
  2. We’re good with money (we control 70% of household income aka $20 Trillion dollars worldwide) and we’re cautiously optimistic and honest about how business is going (ie. we’re a safer bet).
  3. We’re ambitious (80% of women wanted to scale their companies) and have something to prove.

Because we do. Of the CEO’s in the Fortune 500 Companies, in the 2016 review only 4% had female CEO’s. I’m just going to give you a moment to think about that.

 

State Street Global Advisors – the world’s third largest asset manager with over $2.4 trillion USD in assets under management – put a statue, ‘fearless girl’ in front of the famous Wall Street Bull. It was a clear message to the 3,500 companies that they fund; that gender diversity and equality is necessary and are advising of ways they can make the changes.

 

It’s FABULOUS that they’re taking that stance, change must start somewhere – but it also has its flaws.

 

I thought that before I found out that a “wall street financial bro” as the media have termed him, was pictured humping the statue. While it’s sickening, I find it unsurprising but hugely inspiring.

 

Emma Watson (currently being slammed for looking fabulous in Vanity Fair – apparently, you can’t have self-confidence and be a feminist – bullshit – but that’s another post!) is speaking out on gender equality and feminism. She’s got it right – it’s not about men or women being better than the other, it’s about being equal. But how can women be equal in business when it’s currently being run by “bro’s” who fascinatingly still see a woman’s place as being beneath him?

 

Business is still being conducted over long boozy lunches in all-male clubs. Female Board Members need to be ‘one of the boys’ but not too masculine, and not too feminine. They must be the right amount of both – one might say, the ‘perfect’ amount. And my goodness ladies – be careful of how you dress – because that’s what you’ll be remembered for. I’m sorry – what about old mate’s terrible 1970’s tie? Or exceedingly obvious toupee improperly positioned? Oh right, that’s not newsworthy. But Emma Watson’s plunging dress is. It’s no wonder that, that percentage of female CEO’s is dropping. Who could be bothered?

 

And if women are being promoted from a purely, ‘we’re making up the numbers’, point of view. This will continue to happen. Don’t get me wrong – I know there are currently some BRILLIANT women sitting on boards, running companies and managing them – I am inspired by many of them (I also am one, and partner with one), but for every woman doing that, there are minimally a 100 more who just can’t get the chance, because of the male culture club. And again, make no mistake, I am not a man-hater – there are brilliant men doing the same things; but then again there are some… who are perhaps… not.

 

I applaud State Street and look forward to seeing what becomes of it, but I also know there has to be a better way than mandating, or man-handling (why both men? Weird) women into positions to make up the numbers. It shouldn’t be this hard, right? It’s not. IF we as women, have the courage to fall and thus, the courage to fly.

 

‘What if’ strung together, I believe, are the biggest catalyst to change, creative thinking and courage.

 

What if, you started your own business?

What if, you grew your business to be bigger than a “home-based business” or a “mumpreneur” business.

What if, you got venture capital and grew it to where you dreamed you could?

What if, you didn’t need it and you did it all on your own?

What if, it became a Fortune 500 Company?

What if, as women we decided to use our innate compassion to help one another instead of bringing each other down?

What if, we loved ourselves enough to make these things happen?

 

I was told by a hugely successful, massively arrogant, somewhat famous business man (name withheld for legal reasons!) that women are unstoppable in business: their biggest problem is lack of confidence and for the men, their biggest problem is too much.

 

It’s time for us, as women, to have confidence. To support each other and raise our confidence – together. To make multi-generational change. Consider the what if’s and take action. To quote one of my fashion idols, Ms Audrey Hepburn:

  • Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m Possible.’

 

I’d like to spread this message as far and as wide as possible, will you help me? If it resonated with you, please use the links at the top of the post to share it with your ladyboss friends – J xx

 

P.S Want to work out what motivates you? Try this 7 Levels Deep Exercise – click the image below to download the audio. xx

 

 

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