Sorry Ladies But We Still Have Work To When It Comes to Proving Ourselves
Without delving too much into the political jungle I read a comment by a columnist the other day that unbelievably - in this era of equality - still rings true.
“When Theresa May stepped down earlier this year it was made pretty clear to female candidates that they didn’t stand a chance. ‘We’re not having another bloody woman’ was the attitude towards minister Andrea Leadsom. Can you imagine anyone saying ‘We’ve had one dire man as Prime Minister we’re not going to run that risk again.”
This attitude exists not only in the hallowed corridors of Westminster but in many career scenarios leaving many women believing that they are not only striving for their own success but that of womankind. This only adds to the stress and anxiety many women feel in the work place particularly if they find themselves struggling and needing support. It’s not surprising that many women lack self assurance and ask themselves “Am I good enough?”
When asked to go on BBC Question Time columnist Allison Pearsons immediate answer was “I couldn’t possibly, I’d make a total fool of myself”. The producer pleaded “Please - women always turn us down”. “Do men ever turn you down?” She asked “Well there was this one guy….”
Men who have achieved some success in their lives seem to have the confidence to assume that whatever they have to say is worth listening to whereas women still need some persuading. Thousands of years of history placing females in the supporting role cannot be undone overnight but smart capable women have begun to take centre stage and we must cheer them on. We also need to challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zones to be heard and we need to be less fearful of failure. Allison took her courage in her hands and appeared on Question Time put in a great performance and is now a frequent pundit in media circles. She admits that she doesn’t always get it right but she now has the confidence to believe that people are interested in her views.
“I have confidence in confidence alone!” sings the sacred Maria in The Sound of Music psyching herself up to be nanny to the Von Trapp family. She needn’t have worried. She turned out to be brilliant at the job because she was a sensitive, fun, loving and authentic woman. Maybe there is a lesson for all of us there about female confidence. Telling yourself you can is the first step to proving you can.