The US Women’s National Team’s joyful celebrations (amid criticism of being too cocky) remind me of all my female clients who are willing to self-advocate and self-promote their accomplishments in loud, proud ways that feel authentic to them (the haters be damned).
It used to be that women were expected to be more demure, more modest and then it morphed into the modern version: “Let the work speak for itself, and you’ll get ahead”’. Mostly while women would still be spoken over in meetings or passed over for promotions because we hadn’t ‘raised our profile enough’ or ‘didn’t socialize our brand enough’. That’s corporate speak for NOT STANDING OUT and distinguishing ourselves enough. And these slippery expectations have put us in a double bind. Old gender rules tell us to be more humble but newer rules tell us to act like men – brash, arrogant, loud. But not too loud, as to seem unfeminine.
Things are changing. This team reminds me of that. They aren’t what I’d call brash or arrogant or loud (although critics have). They are unabashed, they are proud, they are confident, they are enthusiastic and joyfully certain of their status as winners.
Female leaders must self-celebrate in the workplace. We’ve got to follow Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan’s lead to make change. Yes, we still have to do the hard work (do you know how much time energy and capacity these women devote to soccer?). And yes, we’ll still have obstacles to crash through, or navigate deftly around. But until we start self-advocating and self-promoting, when we’re sure of our contribution (hell, maybe if we’re not 100% sure!)…otherwise, things like equal pay and more women in theC-Suite won’t change fast enough.
Cheers to the women refusing to be defined by others’ expectations. Cheers to women who know confidence is internal and based on a deep understanding & certainty of your experience, accomplishments and value. Vs. arrogance which is based on insecurity and external validation.
Fuck Yes to women being loud and proud in their own unique ways! We’re all counting on you. And you can count on me to support your success along the way. We’re stronger together, after all.
How do you self-celebrate in your life?