Recently, I moderated a discussion on women in business. While it was a somewhat vague topic, it was vague intentionally as the depth and complexity of the sub-topics on “women” and “business” could have gone in many directions, and we let it.
The panelists shared their experiences and opinions to a room full of women… and two men. The common thread amongst all three of them? Their industries - legal, tech, and craft beer, respectively, are male dominated by no less than 70%. The other common threads? Their drive to produce at the highest levels in their respective industries; their zero-hesitation approach to getting what they want; their passion for what they do; and possibly the most important commonality they share? Their brutal honesty.
All three of these women work for or run organizations that don’t settle. They strive to be the best, support the best, and create an environment unlike any other. We need more of this. We need more boardroom tables where everyone doesn’t look exactly the same. We need diverse perspectives that come from diverse experiences. We always say in startup creation if your co-founder or advisor is saying yes to every idea you have, why bother having them around? You need to be challenged and get viewpoints that show you the whole picture.
For the women on this panel, and many women that I engage with on a professional level, it’s not a man/woman thing, it’s a “who’s getting it done?” thing. We live in a region ripe with the ‘can-do’ attitude. We are moving from a place of where mediocrity is the norm to only the strong survive. Candidly, I love it.
So now what? Do we keep having conversations about women in business with a room full of women...and two men? How about this, we engage the male advocates that have the careers we want to mentor, advise, and sponsor us?
Let’s continue the conversation, and in the words of one of the panelists, “just do it."