I’m the lone woman at a dinner celebrating a newly funded seed-stage cyber company. It’s electric to be with the founders, the VC and key advisors. I love the team and am thankful to be there. Obviously, I immediately start in on what everyone is going to do to get more women at THIS table.
Bottom line, we must make our own way to that table. They want women here and are not nefarious in their approach to building their companies, teams, networks. They just have zero knowledge, time or energy to make it happen.
Here is what we have to do (in no particular order):
- LEVEL UP Tell people you need to be at THAT table and why – they are not going to ask you; you have to tell them.
- Stop waiting to be ready or to have the right experience – these guys don’t need perfection and are not perfect.
- Say you can do it – even if you are concerned if you can do it. YOU CAN DO IT. I believe in you.
- Put THE CROWN on and celebrate what you’ve done – it’s way more than you think.
- Let me repeat, put the damn crown on and go get what you want.
- Need help with the confidence – use FIERCE. Reach out to us and we will get you connected with the exact right person to be your HYPE person.
Still not convinced, one founder I spoke with told me he was down to two candidates for a VP, Engineering, one male and one female. The female was more experienced, more educated, basically more everything BUT the male had more confidence. The founder needed that confidence because he was creating a new market. He needed someone who could convince early adopter customers to believe in his product. He hired the less qualified male simply due to his attitude. I don’t blame the founder. What would you do in his shoes? Let’s use this information to make sure next time, the woman has MORE confidence so she can pull others up the ladder with her.
We need to accept this is how men are continuing to dominate C level roles, Board roles, our governments and academia. They are literally manifesting it with their ego. Let their example be a lesson to us. We have egos! Let’s use them. Now that we’ve acknowledged this reality – let’s make it happen, re-read #1-6 above again until you believe in YOURSELF.
We can’t wait to celebrate you.