I’m proud to work for a company run by women.
Metro’s board of directors has a chairwoman, not a chairman; two out of the five executive management team are women — and I’m one of them. I’m the proud employer of women — 50 per cent of my team are women. I’m proud to count ambitious, brilliant women as colleagues and friends.
That said, before my first board meeting presentation, I couldn’t sleep, worried about … the other women.
The presentation was solid, I knew I’d impress the “suits.” But having never met anyone, I wasn’t sure the “skirts” in the room would let me get away with it: they’d find a way to make me look stupid, to trip me up.
I was concerned that those who should be my best allies could be my worst enemy.
Why do we spend so much energy cutting ourselves down? Sniping, whispering, threatening? We need to take control of the message women send to each other, and about each other: you’re not bossy, you’re assertive; you’re not emotional, you’re intuitive. You. Are. Not. A. Bitch. And neither is she.
GOOD magazine recently ran a campaign called Promote Women: Use your Network to Solve the Gender Gap.
They challenged us to 1) Think of three women in our industry who are under-noticed. 2) Think of three powerful people in our industry that we know personally. 3) Connect them!
Recommend your under-noticed, under-paid and otherwise under-exposed women colleagues — and tell them you did.
I would like to extend this challenge to Metro’s readers. Tell us about it on #promotewomen.
Ladies, women, girls; present and future CEOs, presidents and professionals: Be the mentor you needed. Cut the crap. Stop the gossip. And extend your hand. Just before my board room presentation, both women walked to the front of the room, shook mine, and told me I’d do just fine.
And I flew. Mean girls — what mean girls? THIS was the way it should be.
Maggie Samways is Executive Vice President and Global Editor in Chief of Metro World News. Follow her on Twitter at @TheEditrix.