Don’t fail your daughters (or your sons) by Roz Usheroff
“First, trust your own passions and tastes. Don’t let people tell you who you are or what you’re best suited for — especially when their opinions are based on old-fashioned gender stereotypes. If there’s a job you want or a subject you’d like to study or a career you’d like to pursue, go after it. And don’t apologize.”
Even though I am the proud mother of a wonderfully talented and successful son, when I read the letter that Target’s EVP/Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Jones wrote to his daughters – from which the above excerpt was taken – I was in a word “moved.” By the way you can read the letter in its entirety through this link.
In my Art of WOW Conferences I talk about how women can find their way out of the Endless Loop Trap, the kind to which Jones referred in his letter. However, I cannot help but think how we as parents create the blueprints for our children’s success based on the values that we instill in them starting at a young age.
Please do not misinterpret my words as a call for all women to rise up against the enduring prejudices of men. After all, I truly believe that by casting a hard die relative to traditional gender capabilities and roles in the business world, we do a great disservice to both girls and boys.
The fact is that I would be delighted to one day discover that the need for a specific conference to equip women with the tools for overcoming gender-based obstacles, would be replaced by a conference that empowers the individual regardless of sex.
To get to this point, we have to ask ourselves “what kind of legacy are we creating for our children?”
For the men are you, like Jones, encouraging your daughters to truly pursue their dreams, and in the process smash the illusions of inequality that have limited their opportunities.
What about the women? Are you setting an example for your sons that demonstrate your true power and capabilities to both individually and collectively make a strong contribution in all areas of the business world . . . and in life?
In short, are we creating the blueprint for a better world. One that doesn’t focus on perceived or misguided weaknesses, but on strengths such as integrity, perseverance and passion.
The last time I checked, these character strengths were not gender specific.