What Are Your Words?

We’ve all heard them. What are yours?

What are the words or phrases you believe should be banned from describing women leaders?

I am sure for most of us the words are too numerous to count. The ones that stand out to me the most are from people that I thought were my gateways to success.   They were words spoken to me by managers. Manager that told me I was “unapproachable.” or “…lower your standards.” Those words stung, but they didn’t deter me from continuing to work towards my goals. If anything, they proved that I needed to work a little harder because being in an environment where I wasn’t lifted up was not to be the end of my journey.

What are those words or phrases for you?

I am sure most of you have heard about the campaign to ban the word “bossy”. If not, Google it. It’s a campaign launched by Sheryl Sandberg to empower girls to lead. According to statistics, 75% of girls are less interested in leadership by the time they reach middle school because they don’t want to be perceived as “bossy”. It’s an interesting campaign, but it is only the start. Where is the campaign to ban the words “Bitch”, “Black Widow”, “Angry” and “Unapproachable” as acceptable words for describing women leaders? Does having been put through the adversity of being called “bossy” as children help us to form a thick skin so it doesn’t affect us as much when we are older? Look, statistics don’t lie and of all the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, less than 5% are women1. What is truly stopping women from breaking into the C-Suite? Does being called “bossy” as a little girl really hold that much impact? Or is it the choices that we are forced to make between our careers and our lives? Say what you will about Sarah Mayer (Yahoo), but the fact that she even had to formulate a plan that encompassed how to maneuver her maternity leave while being CEO of Yahoo is a topic that might require some review.

We are a community of like-minded individuals, who may not all be headed to the same destination, but we are all on a journey. So I ask ….

What are the words or phrases you believe should be banned from describing women leaders?

At the J Spot, I can start the conversation, but it takes your thoughts, ideas and love to make it grow.  So, take the risk, leave a comment below where it says “Leave Your Contribution to the Community…” Let us support you on the journey to finding your passion.

1 – www.catalyst.org

A Real Hard P.U.S.H.

Hello J Spot!

My question today is….

What are you P.U.S.H.’ing through?

When I went off to college and even after that, every time I called my mother to share something going on in my life that I perceived as hard or ultimately insurmountable, she always told me the same thing, “Jenine, P.U.S.H.  Pray Until Something Happens.”  And time she said it, I would.  Early on, as I would try to heed my mother’s advice, the stress was all over my face; the pressure I was under was evident in my voice and I reeked of the stress I was under.  Then, somewhere along the way, I realized that while I was acting like I was P.U.S.H.’ing, if everyone could tell that I felt like my world was upside down, then I really wasn’t.

So I changed.  Just like that I decided that it wasn’t OK for others to know how the stresses of life were getting me down.  I started to behave how I thought one might when they were P.U.S.H.’ing.  I put energy into my actions.  Even when I was exhausted, I behaved as though it was all good.  Then suddenly, I started to talk to people who were doing the same thing.  They were walking and talking like it was all good until it really was just that….all good!

We are a community of like-minded individuals, who may not all be headed to the same destination, but we are all on a journey.  So I ask again….

What are you P.U.S.H.’ing through?

At the J Spot, I can start the conversation, but it takes your thoughts, ideas and love to make it grow.  So, take the risk, leave a comment below where it says “Leave Your Contribution to the Community…”  Let us support you on the journey to finding your passion.