• Helen

Here's to Pushy Women


Lean In encourages us to sit at the table, advocate for others, recognize our own bias and so on. One of those elements is the unconscious double standard that we apply to women even when we identify intellectually with the progress of women towards equity. On Sunday, I spoke with one of the accelerators where I offer pitch training. I wanted to know if there was a special reason that my sessions with the incoming cadre of startups had been cancelled. My contact explained the official reasons of budgeting, streamlining all the presentation training with one trainer, etc., which I accepted. I shared an idea I am super excited about of combining my forces with a neuroscientist to upgrade what we are offering women entrepreneurs and she was interested - I thought. And then, in the tone of "the truth is", she gave me the lowdown. The head of the accelerator thinks I am too pushy. While it's not clear if this is what he said or what she thinks, it gave me pause. Hmm, I thought. Maybe I am too pushy. I also thought about what I had just read in Playing Big, by Tara Mohr, that we can decide what feedback serves us and what doesn't. What feels like it might keep us playing small and what will help us grow. Now, I am may be pushy. I am sure I am sometimes. I am also other things, like grateful, committed, excited and moved by the encounters with people who are moving out of their comfort zones and using speaking opportunities as the medium to do that. So, I didn't listen to her feedback. Instead, I followed up an earlier conversation with The American Center about gender equity training and professional development and as a result, will be offering a power lunch session + workshop during International Women's Month... to get other women to be more pushy. And part of that will be doing the re-frame of replacing the terms pushy and self-promoting with the term, visible.

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