Women in Financial Services Blog

Are women powerful?

Are women powerful?

Mark Freed / 07 Nov 2018

True, we can yield power, and there is power within us, yet we are limited – and we limit ourselves – in how we express it.

Is that then really having power? There’s been much said and written about succeeding as a woman in a male-dominated world, but so much of it seems contradictory.

On the one hand, we’re told to speak up, to take up space, to choose ourselves first for once, to own our strength and our power. On the other hand, research shows time and again that women who follow that advice are viewed  – and then treated – negatively.

We’re told to be bold, and then punished by men and WOMEN for demonstrating that boldness.

I believe in speaking up. I know being heard, engaging in dialogue, owning your needs and beliefs is often the most powerful action you can take on any given day. I also believe that there is no one-right-way to speak-up; that you have to do so using a voice that is natural to you. Anything less than that and you risks distorting your message, being inauthentic, editing yourself.

When I speak and speak up what naturally comes to me is a mix of humor, psychology, and frankness. I have heard [women be powerful]  many other women do the same using a far softer, more stereotypically feminine, tone and word choice. Others yet speak-up in a voice that is more emphatic, present, and unyielding in its language.  Each one of us has something of value to contribute, and though we all benefit from adjusting our tone and message to our audience, we should not feel compelled to adopt a style other than our own. We should not feel like we have to censor or completely edit ourselves in order to be heard and acknowledged as worthy.

Whatever style comes naturally to you when speaking up, us it. We need to stop punishing each other for being assertive and stepping into our power. We need to educate men about the biases that make it hard for them to hear our words without dismissing the messenger.

We need to educate each other, ladies,  to realize that we too enact these same biases, and in some ways, this is a betrayal to our stated desire to be viewed and treated as equals.

And when I say we I mean you reading this today, me, and every girl and woman out there. It time to raise your unique voice and speak up with the words and the tone that becomes you. Be your truth and then be a champion for someone else’s truth.

That is having power and using it for good. That is how we will eventually bridge this gap, come together, and evolve.

Dr Alessandra Wall, a psychologist and coach and now a guest contributor to E2W’s Blog and Newsletters. Alessandra  is going to help us in our continued mission to support you in your career path by, over the next few months, contributing a series of articles surrounding career progression, managing work scenarios, overcoming self-confidence issues and other pertinent topics.  Some of you may already know of Alessandra thanks to her social media presence, or you may have heard her speak.

Alessandra is based in California and she will be visiting us & the E2W community in 2019.  In the meantime, please digest and embrace her articles, engage with us and Alessandra – let us know your thoughts, and help us help you reach your career goals.

Alessandra can be contacted via E2W

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