“Businessman” and “businesswoman” are actually simple definitions that suit, in a natural way, people who have won them. “He is a real businessman” and “She is a real businesswoman” are expressions with the same meaning. And a truly perfect thing would be that everything that these terms imply were the same for both.
However, the experience for these two cases has been very different so far.
The fact is that the term “business woman” barely sounded normal not long ago, while its male counterpart was already an institution. Although today the term “business woman” is much more common, it keeps carrying curious baggage. We still feel that we need to earn that definition, deserve it and reaffirm it, with much more force. There is a constant pressure that exists at general and personal levels. There are requirements a woman must meet in order to be successful in her career, to be valued in her work as well as in other spheres of her life.
Like many other concepts that we have learned in a wrong way, such as our ideas about money, education, work, we have also learned that women and men are so different because they are just born this way. The truth is that women and men are only different in appearance, but not in the way of thinking, working, organizing. If we have opposite things, it’s only because we have learned them like this, just like everything else.
But here is where it gets interesting: it is really useful for us to unlearn and re-learn many things. But there is something in the traditional view on women that we can take advantage of for our success in business. We have learned to be administrators, managers, caregivers, listeners, to be patient, multi-tasking, social, collaborative and non-competitive. And it turns out that all this can be useful for our business and for the company.
But even so, sometimes we need something else, a special spark to achieve more and to have more recognition.
There are more and more women in high-level positions in big companies, and you may think that you don’t need more recognition than knowing that you do your job. But don’t fool yourself, if you work hard, you deserve all the recognition, not just a part. You have to leave that mentality behind and demand what belongs to you, in the same way as any other person in your position would do.
We already know that in the business world, failures are a prelude to success. However, you can feel, as a businesswoman with that extra pressure load, that if you don’t do everything right at first (not just well, twice as well), no one will take you into account, and you need to choose another career. You can take that pressure and use it in two ways: you can let it knock you down, or you can use it to support yourself, to go further next time. How about this?
All successful people have had failures in their careers, so don’t get carried away by the pressure and admit that you also have the right to be wrong, at least once.
If you have all that in mind, you will not be “a woman in business”, but “a businesswoman” in your own right.
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