Mind The Gap Please!
The UK is 560,000 female managers short. And 1.1 million female entrepreneurs short too. (info from Bloomberg and gov.uk this month). Male entrepreneurs are just as likely to be a Gen X or a Boomer – but for women they are more likely to be Gen X (but still lag behind men).
So, what can we gather from this?
Well, apart from the fact that nothing much has changed in UK PLC management despite 20 years of hype about how things are improving in diversity (NOT), what clearly IS the case is that the older you are the less likely you will be in your dream job or running your dream business.
Why is that? What the heck is going on?
There is something about a certain generation of women – boomers especially – that mean we are really good at encouraging other (and younger) women to go for it, but not very good at encouraging ourselves.
I was talking to a male colleague the other day who openly said to me – when it comes to starting their own business or applying for jobs/promotion, most men are full of ***t.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
His reply – not verbatim – was, that men will go for stuff they want, with little regard to whether they are actually capable to doing it. And then they will try and figure it out as they go. Sometimes that fails, but a surprising number of times it succeeds. They are taking action, and it might be the wrong action, but at least they are making things happen.
Why do men do that?
Well, it could be because boys are encouraged to give things a go. They are encouraged to try out for the football/basketball/rugby club. Maybe they are taken to martial arts classes, or boxing. They are almost expected to be able to pick up any IT stuff really quickly. Girls….not so much.
Now of course, there are exceptions, and things ARE getting better in some areas, some industries, some schools. But not good enough clearly. The data doesn’t lie. Only 1 in 3 entrepreneurs are women. There are 560,000 less female managers than male.
Some of this lies in subconscious bias, some in expectations, and some it has to be said – right with us. Yes, we women can be our own worst enemy when it comes to getting what we want.
Why Don’t Women Go For It More?
You see we are programmed to please. Which means ticking all the boxes. So, of course, we couldn’t go for a job when we don’t have at least 9 of the 10 main criteria. Of course, we could never think of starting a business unless we knew absolutely everything about that and had all our ducks lined up in a row. Right?
But there is one thing that you do need before you can do either of those things. You need to know your WHY. Because if you know your why you can then decide what your next move is. Is your WHY served by going for that promotion or by starting your own business? If it IS – then it is so much easier to gather the courage to go for it.
And that’s what holds women back – especially boomers. Boomers have spent their lives living how they think every female ‘should’. Do well at school. Go to Uni / get a job. Have kids. Look after kids, husband, parent, grandkids.
The Turning Point
Until one day, you wake up and find the husband gone, the parents departed, the kids moving out and getting on with their own lives. And you realise, there’s potentially less life left than has already gone – and it has all been for someone else. You have spent your life supporting other people’s dreams – including your boss. WHAT ABOUT YOURS????
It’s your time now. But how do you move on? How do you know what you are supposed to do next? If you are like most women, it feels kinda selfish to even think about putting yourself first and spending time thinking about what you want. It’s not something you have been trained or encouraged to do in all likelihood. And it can be really hard. It’s easier to think of what you don’t want.
How To Step Over That Gap
I was there. Until one day, someone challenged me and I woke up. I suddenly realised I was here to do something so much more than selling bathmats, working in a shipping container for Dracula.
And that’s why I created the Find Your WHY Foundation (along with my bestie Marion), and spent a lot of time and money researching the best ways to help other women to Find Their WHY. And we are pretty good at it too. If you haven’t yet found your WHY, then I invite you to take the first step and fill in a very short questionnaire which we will use to create your very own Genetic Blueprint report.
This will tell you with absolute clarity – who you are as a person and what you are here on earth to do. And it’s free. If you want to find out more click here. It might just change your life!
PS – The genetic blueprint really helps with understanding who you are and what you are here to do – fill in this 2 minute questionnaire and I will send you your own ‘genetic blueprint’ which will help you understand yourself so you can begin to find your why! You will find it here
PPS – If the link doesnt work for any reason (sometimes technology has a bad day) then email me on email@example.com and I will sort it out for you!
PPPS – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘Asking For Help Before You Need It’
“I’m on a global mission to help 10 million disheartened souls, who are at a crossroads, to STOP asking why me? And START saying why not me!”