Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

Women have to make choices that men just don’t!

May 27th, 2010 by Deb McLean

I just read some statistics in a Harvard Business Review article that made me think about choices.  I hope that my male friends reading this don’t get sore at me, but if you are honest with yourself, you’ll admit that women have to make choices that men just don’t.

Did you know…

  • Today, more women are graduating from college than men.
  • There are twice the number of female entrepreneurs to men. 
  • Women control 60% of all the wealth in America. 

It seems that women have what it takes to succeed, yet few are making it to the top of their respective fields.

  • 6% are among the highest paid employees of Fortune 500 companies.
  • Just over 25% of full professors at universities are women. 
  • 6% of commercial radio station owners are female. 
  • Only 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

I look at most of my friends.  They are smart.  Talented.  College educated.  Yet, most made the choice to stay home or take lesser roles in business because they wanted to be able to be with there for their kids.   In most cases,  they made the choices with their husbands, but they still had to make the choice.  I’m not complaining (and neither would they), I’m just stating a fact.   

The dilemma that takes women away from leadership roles is their responsibility in the home in contrast to their demands at work. There are many corporate obstacles and cultural pressures that lead many women to be pushed out of work. This dilemma draws many women away from high-profile careers to stay home with their kids.

Those that choose to stay in the business world find that ambition in women is often misinterpreted as aggression and being overly power-hungry.  Toughness from a woman can be taken differently than toughness from a man. Often,  women who allow their “feelings” to get in the way are perceived as too weak to lead and run others. This leaves women unsure about how to best behave and people doubting their intentions as leaders.

I’ve taken some training as a coach.  Males and females are different.  I’ve been taught that boys win, then bond.  Girls bond, then win.  I believe this to be true.

Women tend to prefer close and intimate relationships.  People they can trust.  Men thrive in competitive environments.  Women might avoid jobs that will place them in direct competition for advancement with their peers to preserve close friendships.

Female leaders can rise to the top if they soar with their strengths as women and maintain a leadership style that embraces their individuality. This is what will draw others near, inspire, and motivate.  I’m proud to say we have some females in my company that do just that. 

It’s all about balance and making the right choices. 

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  • We toured the UC Davis Vet Med school 2 yrs ago with our teenage daughter who is possibly has an interest in vet. med as a future career. In seeing a large framed photo at the college of the previous yrs graduating class, I commented about the high % of female vet med grads. The male VM student giving the tour told us nearly 75% of the previous yrs class was women! He said many women with an interest in animals, the sciences & medicine are now choosing to be veterinarians rather than MD’s so they will have more of a family life. 20 yrs ago he told us the % of men vs women was the reverse. Interesting!

  • Very interesting indeed! Another option is dentistry. Our dentist/neighbor closes early a number of days and all day Friday for family time!

  • Great one Deb!