Blurb from the author: I have long hesitated to write this article because I know that the vast majority of working women do not receive similar pay and treatment, even if they have the same value. However, my point of view is this: if we focus on becoming EQUAL, we cannot make progress. And women have many natural leadership advantages that we should focus on growing and improving.
I'm tired of trying to be the same.
When I was at university, my engineering class consisted of 150 men and 10 girls. I worked day and night, even in the first year when the grades were not counted in order to reach the top of the class. I wanted to prove that girls in difficult technical subjects are just as good as men. I got my first place, but for four years I spent 14 hours a day studying something that I didn't like.
When I graduated and joined the consultation, I was one of the few girls hired on Accenture's tech team. I worked day and night to prove that girls can manage servers. I think I was fine, got promoted early and everything, but I've worked really hard on projects for 2 years that weren't too important to me.
When I started a tech startup in 2014 (I think I see a pattern here), I was one of the few founders. In any case, one of the few female founders who raised little people.
We're still working hard to expand the recommendation group and make something spectacular out of it, and the past year has been amazing, but based on recent considerations, I realized that I was still trying to prove something.
That girls can be as good as men. That women can be as good as men. Something.
Why have I spent my life proving something I should be convinced of? I mean, the data is clear: companies with founders, female board members or a large percentage of female employees ALWAYS do better than others. Even Jack Ma said it.
Perhaps it is because the world keeps telling us that we have to become equal, which for me always means that we are still not good enough.
But in recent years, when I've had the privilege of meeting and working with so many amazing and powerful female managers and entrepreneurs, mothers who work from home, and small business owners, another thought has formed in my mind.
Why should we focus on comparing or comparing ourselves to men? Anyone who has ever worked with men and women in the same room cannot deny one thing – both genders are very different in their way of working and Both have their strengths and weaknesses.
Of course, each gender is better in some things and weaker in others. Heck, of course everyone is better in some things and weaker in some things.
Why not Concentrate on the things we are great at, of courseand make these things our competitive advantage so we can progress instead of becoming the same?
An amazing group of women who were never the same but were always ahead of what they were doing. 10 years later, these women advise partners, directors of HR companies, bank directors and company founders.
Here are some areas that I think women have a natural advantage:
Women have an advantage over men when it comes to multitasking – we stay organized when we have to do a lot of things.
There are many hypotheses as to why this is so, but my favorite is the hunter-gatherer – our cave women had to juggle picking fruits from different trees, cooking, taking care of babies and keeping the cave warm and inviting while our men friends were spending many, many hours in a day chasing this one animal. And so the brain developed differently.
In today's world, keeping up with the pace of change and dealing with different distractions is really challenging. Here you are knee-deep in multi-million dollar contracts when your team member asks you for advice, your boss wants to know if you can reach your KPI this month, your colleague sends you a message with the office gossip, and your mother sends you an SMS saying Your child has a fever and Zalora will send you a push notification that your favorite shirt is back in stock. Ahhh, so many things happen at the same time!
The ability to do multiple tasks well is becoming increasingly important in today's world. I think this gives women a strong competitive advantage in the workplace and in life!
2. Be familiar with emotions
There is no denying that women are more closely connected to being emotional or more comfortable with their emotional side. This is probably a result of social formation since a young age.
“Society gives little girls permission to be empathetic, to use a language that expresses emotions, and to prioritize the development of deep and meaningful relationships (starting with dolls). While both girls and boys can develop mental resilience through exercise, many boys tend to develop into men who rely on harder skills such as aggression as the standard response to stress rather than softer skills such as empathy and self-confidence. "
LaRae Quy, author of "Mental Toughness for Women Leaders"
It is also possible that women had to develop a higher emotional intelligence as they rose, as we have a harder climb than men. Studies show that in work situations where female managers had to lead through influence rather than direct authority, a high level of emotional intelligence was found, the author says above.
How many times have you encountered a problem where the solution is clear and logical, but People don't do it well because of an emotional roadblock? Or situations where the team looks good on paper but people just don't get along because the emotions are high?
It is a great advantage for me to be able to understand and use emotions when you influence others in the workplace! There is another tool in the toolbox that we can use at the right moment.
3. The alternative angle
Women or women make up half of the world's population. In the United States, women control 85% of consumer spending, 70% of key financial decisions for themselves and their families, and 60% of personal wealth. Women control $ 36 trillion of personal wealth worldwide. Ask your male colleague if he will buy the expensive thing and he will probably answer you: "Let me talk to my wife".
Understanding and targeting women is an area that is less understood since most company leaders and Bigwigs are men.
It is so valuable here to have women at the table who bring different and unique perspectives that companies only demand diversity for reasons of diversity. As women, we bring value Only by bringing in our perspectives and these are guaranteed to be unique because we are usually the minority at the table.
I think women sometimes don't speak out loud because we're the minority … but because we're the minority, our views are almost guaranteed to add value. I always try to remember when I try to hear my voice over the male sounds at the table.
4. The female magic
This is a truly unique skill that I have noticed for many years but have never described. Women or women, we have that Special magic.
Have you noticed how well and comfortably women negotiate prices in markets, go away and then back again, calm down and joke, switch from strict to friendly and strive for a 40% discount at the same time? Men, do they have to strengthen themselves mentally and emotionally, then have the courage to try asking for this 15% and then hastily agree to 10%, pay and leave? Well, I think we're bringing this magic to business negotiations.
I just asked Mil from Mil Design, one of our top interior designers, how she "survived" as a woman in the male-dominated construction industry and how she was seen as "equal".
She looked at me in disbelief and said: "Right away? Why do I want to be the same? It is so much better to be female in construction. "
She then told me how, as a woman, she can convince contractors to deliver results within a timeframe and in a shorter time frame than any of her male colleagues can. And she teaches all of her female project managers to do this.
Mil by Mil Design. She has been with Recommend.my from the start, a complete powerhouse for interior design and a woman's bang!
Do people work more or do more effort when asked by their boss or customer? I think so, although I don't understand why I do.
The reasons above are why I always flinch slightly when I hear "Getting to Equal" or "Each for Equal". I understand that we have had salaries, titles, etc. for 50 years because we simply have more things to do in life and the cards are always stacked against us. Apple for apple, men are always paid higher than women and that is not fair.
I think however The way to become equal is to see how we can get on.
You never hear fast-growing companies say to their shareholders: "This year we want to be on a par with the other market participants."
Oh no, they understand their target customers, core competencies, differentiation, hire a great team and develop a strategy to get ahead. Why should our careers be different?
Jes Min is a co-founder of the Recommend Group, a home services platform in SEA. This article was originally published on LinkedIn.