After an interesting lunch networking meeting at the Hoxton Apprentice yesterday where Dr Ruth Sealy, a Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the International Centre for Women Leaders spoke about the 5 common myths why women aren’t in senior management positions in PLC’s (one being that women aren’t ambitious like men!!), it led to an interesting debate on women in business.
After Dr Sealy’s address, Deb Leary, the National President of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs said that in her experience women weren’t afraid of failure, but of success. As I looked around the room full of women, there was a great deal of nodding in agreement.
Success obviously means different things to different people…it may mean earning a lot of money, it may mean achieving a high profile position, it may mean having a 1st class honours degrees, it may mean starting a business and having a number of immediate orders or clients. But is success something women are truly afraid of? I would have loved to have spoken to Deb Leary about success further as her comment obviously spoke of her years of experience and expertise with women in business.
Certain factors such as background and education may make you doubtful about whether you can be successful or it may limit your horizons, but this is not necessarily the same as being fearful of success. So why did the women at this networking event so readily agree that women are fearful of success? What do you think?
I’ll leave you with a quote from Marianne Williamson, who wrote this speech for Nelson Mandela. I think she sums up what we’re truly afraid of quite beautifully…
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”