What is the secret to career success? A strategy. I remember having a conversation with a powerful woman 10 years into her career. As we discussed the notion of the persona a woman of power needs at work she mentioned,
“successful female leaders own their femininity as they negotiate deals at the boardroom table.”
The idea that a woman needs to mold her personality to the majority in the office is an ideal that does not work. People can discern people’s true nature.
Women are natural born leaders; we are nurturing, exercise communication, intuitive with our mind in the future. In the case of a woman working in a male-dominated industry, is it best to act like a man? To gain respect, can a woman be soft-spoken and be feminine at the same time.
I offer the ultimate guide to acting like a lady and being a boss at work.
Own Your Feminine Power
Dictionary.com defines the word feminine as “having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.” What does this mean to you? It’s time to dress up and look beautiful like it’s a photoshoot. Style your hair with a new hairstyle every 6 months to one year. Wear the best outfits that reflect personality – or – dress the future part you want to become. Soul search to find that inner lady you will be proud to showcase.
The compassionate feminine spirit inside can be the reason moving in a lateral movement in the workplace can be a reality.
A Blend of Logic and Emotional
One of the fallacies of promoting women in leadership is a woman’s emotions can be perceived as a weakness. Some believe a woman’s desire to start a family is the reason men are best suited for an executive role.
A lady’s emotions are a sign we are human which is much appreciated if shown in the right situation. A logical mindset as a leader can help a woman shine in the boardroom.
A woman in a male-dominated industry can learn from the majority in leadership.
There are skills women can learn from working with men and vice versa.
Diversify Your Experience
I encourage women to be involved in entrepreneurial opportunities outside of work. Invest in stocks, purchase a rental property, get started as a freelancer or start an ecommerce business. In my experience in working with organizations, a woman that can lead initiatives outside of work is valuable to a team. She can think on her own without minimal guidance with the diligence to produce results despite diversity.
The next chapter of a career can be elevated with non-work related activities that showcases a business acumen.
Learn from Pop Culture
Television has highlighted the character of some of the most powerful women in TV dramas. Women like Olivia Pope in Scandal, Scully in The X Files or Joan in Girlfriends are classic examples. All three women owned their female energy and were powerful at the same time despite some critiques issues with decisions in their non-work-related lives.
Women that understand their value that can face all challenges in a career can remain a lady and be a boss. The epitome of a boss is a mindset. A management or executive title is desirable to some, but the word can describe someone in a junior level position.
As women, we need to help one another at work; rather than viewing someone with more skills as a threat, turn it into an opportunity to build a support system.
Featured image via Sophia Amoruso