Women together, the secret to making things happen
Women are the key to achieving change. Tested during the pandemic, we can look at problems from different angles.
- MERCEDES BALTAZAR LOBATO
- 13:30 hrs
The following confession will put me in the category "potential population at risk" in the pandemic. When I was a child, I was in the theater play called "Among women." The slogan was, "Among women, we can tear ourselves apart, but we will never hurt ourselves," having grown up in the context of soap operas, I was not struck by the drama or the weirdness of the phrase.
"Women together and not dead" or "the worst enemy of a woman is a woman" are two of the most famous sayings. They are so normalized that they can trigger doubts when we think of a 100% female team. Ideas of this type make it look weird, or worse, avoid giving us leadership positions.
In addition to those phrases, we have bought into the idea that success, assertiveness, high performance, wear pants, and are masculine attributes. Still, many women have chosen to imitate the style and even take it a little further. Thinking of a different leadership format is relatively new, especially approaching it without falling into the temptation to assume that it is synonymous with weakness or worse with conflict due to "excess estrogen."
Our company has almost always been made of a mostly female team. We have clients or allies who ask if it's on purpose? The answer is no; initially, it was accompanied by a "what happens is that ..." and now we respond with much more confidence that it is the best talent and a formula that works very well.
I would change the past's sayings, plagued with micro-macro-hyper machismo, for: "the best facilitator of change is a woman." The negative part of old ideas does not let us see the value of the education we receive. In our professional life, we will have to find different solutions to a problem, focus on efficiency, and seek balance with personal life without compromising results.
What does female leadership contribute? I understand that each head is a world and that generalizing has many opportunities; however, this list is based on my experience working with a team of women and seeing other women's careers that I admire.
Commitment: The cliché says we are less committed to work because "we have other priorities," call it children, house, partner, or whatever comes to mind. Still today, we are asked if we plan to marry or have children soon as if our life decisions predict the level of commitment one will have with a project. Reality indicates the opposite. It is linked to equality in salaries, opportunities, recognition, and possibilities to grow. When they put us on an "equal track," there is flexibility, and they make us feel like an essential part of the organization, commitment results in less turnover.
Competitiveness: Not to be confused with the toxic side of the word. It is the alignment of all efforts to reach a goal and exceed results. The pandemic has been a clear example of this. In the particular case of the company, we have exceeded the established metrics. In general, the greater the challenge, the more exciting the path to exceed expectations.
Ability to see different dimensions of the same problem: We could say that we are educated to solve problems; Leaving the cliché, in general, we have a different organization style, which allows us to think in several layers, innovating in decision-making and the way of dealing with conflicts.
Teamwork: We are increasingly clear about the value we can bring to the table beyond the team's composition. Depending on the collaborators' skills, a more creative team is generated, open to mentoring, sharing knowledge, and promoting growth. According to the latest KPMG female leadership report, 67% of participants reported that they had learned the most valuable leadership lessons from a woman. Having the opportunity to lead and live within a team of women for the last year has brought a lot of learning, erased stony ideas that can slow down our growth, and desire to continue promoting female businesses. In the previous year, we have also broken the prejudice that "everything is complicated when a woman is a mother" the results when you change the vision from "hours" to "deliverables" bear fruit. We certainly have to pay attention to reverse the "ghosts" that I have spoken about in other columns such as the imposter syndrome or the negotiation challenges; This path is also easier to travel accompanied. My invitation this week is to change pants for heels when thinking about the road to success.
* Mercedes Baltazar is an internationalist dedicated to strategic communication. She decided to undertake entrepreneurship to tell news from Meraki, Mexico.
Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes