This year for International Women’s Day, we’ve been reflecting on the roles women play in the workplace and how that role has evolved. Leading up to this day there is always a surge of spotlights and media on this conversation, but we’ve been taking note of the common titles being used. The same titles that have sparked controversial conversations and provoked emotions in many that are still being used. Today we’re going to be digging in to female-forward descriptors.
In honour of International Women’s Day (and month!), we’re going to bring up a controversial topic that has been polarizing many, many, MANY people since its inception.
Are you offended or empowered?
Boss babe. Girl Boss. “She”EO. Mom-preneur. Shero. Female-CEO. What feelings bubble up for you when you hear these terms? Does it feel empowering and supportive? Or does it feel condescending and belittling?
These terms originated from a time when it wasn’t common for females to be business leaders, there wasn’t equality or expectation of equality. It was compelling to add a pronoun to a term that was only associated with men and some used to think it was empowering. Many felt seeing these titles made the world of business more approachable. But now when you add this gender specific pronoun, are we implying that the real leaders are still men? Are we still leaders if we’re only referred to as a “Boss Babe” and not just a “Boss”?
Regardless of your visceral or endearing reaction to these terms, we can agree times are changing. Globally the share of women in senior management is increasing, having grown to 29% in 2019 accordingly to Catalyst.org , the highest number ever recorded. Although we still have a long way to go, and 2020 has proven to be a huge hit to career growth for many women, conversations about how we recognize the contributions of women need to happen. A challenged world is an alert world. It is our choice to challenge and call our gender bias, inequality, and have the conversation, so let’s #choosetochallenge
So, the golden question, what does it mean to be a leader? What does it mean to honour uniqueness while being inclusive? What does it mean to be an entrepreneur who identifies as female? Does it help or hinder when there are separate pronouns, groups, associations meant for women?
Let us know in the comments below or share this post to get the conversation going.