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Building Influence – Don’t you know that it’s different for girls?


 
You learn something new every day. I recently met with female leaders in two Australian banks who are very interested in my upcoming Building Your Influence Webinar and my book, ‘Time To Shine’. Intrigued, I asked them if there was a specific reason the thinking resonated. Both thought that women in particular are looking for help in standing out. The language of ‘Your Time To Shine’ is spot on.

Just a boy
This was news! I am a man. I come from a media industry which has always had a balance of male and female leaders and have worked for several excellent female bosses. This, and a well-developed appreciation of both sexes has perhaps created a blind spot. As a leadership expert, I’ve seen plenty of sexism and appalling ‘boy’s club’ cultures. But I am amazed how deeply entrenched the problem remains in 2017. It seems that many women continue to feel overlooked, under-utilised and frustrated at their inability to build the influence they need to get their ideas, passion and energy into the world.

Mums doing it tough
It’s worse for mums. The persisting prevalence of sexism and over-promoted men in many workplaces is compounded by the career gap created when women leave to raise children. I’d like to think I was a pretty hands-on dad, but I know my wife did most of the heavy lifting. Like most mums, she gladly put her career on hold and put the kids first.

It’s no surprise that mums returning to the market after a prolonged break can struggle to regain the confidence levels they once enjoyed. Perceiving former peers and friends to have rocketed ahead in the interim compounds the feeling.

Permission to put yourself first
If this is resonating for you, maybe it’s time to reboot. You’ve had a baby, not a lobotomy! There’s no reason you can’t contribute at your full potential and achieve your ambitions - whether that’s in an organisation or your own gig. You just have to pluck up the courage to start.

Whether you are a mum or not, it’s time to STEP UP! That’s not about ego, or entitlement. It starts with:

1. giving yourself permission to put yourself first
2. deciding to do something about it
Once you do, chances are you’ll find you are well-equipped to build your INFLUENCE and create the professional and personal success that you want.

Your Time To Shine

I dislike the conversations around ‘quotas’ or ‘glass ceilings’. I’d rather focus on bringing out the greatness in everyone - irrespective of gender. As someone once wrote,

“You don’t have to blow out someone else’s candle for your light to shine”

But you DO have to decide to give oxygen to your own flame.

What are you waiting for?

 

 
Mark Hodgson
 
Mark Hodgson

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