Shadowed success: Do women have to be twice as good as men to be equally recognized by Roz Usheroff
“Women don’t believe enough in themselves. They wait for permission to go for the “GOLD” and stand on ceremony to speak out . . . these athletes took the bull by the horn and allowed their competitiveness be their bond and came together to win . . . Females typically focus on being collaborative rather than winning. It was wonderful to see their self-confidence shine and not be distracted by the competition. Coming together as a team, supporting each other like glue with the same vision brought these females to stardom in my eyes.”
I gave the above comment in response to a question regarding my recent post discussing the success of Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team winning gold in Sochi. Specifically, how did I view the performance of the Women’s Hockey Team given that they too won gold.
From a business analogical perspective, the women’s victory was on many levels even more amazing for a number of reasons.
To begin, there is a prevailing sentiment that being competitive is somehow unladylike, and that possessing the competitive fire that is necessary for success in the business world is an unattractive characteristic.
Then there is the competitive disconnect in which women will at times become each others worst enemy. Many women know what I am talking about in that instead of being supportive of one another, women tend to undermine female “teammates” based on a belief that there are only a limited number of places available on the “corporate roster.”
Finally, there is also the persistent belief that the accomplishments of women are somehow less noteworthy than those of their male counterparts. The commercial that aired during the last days of the Olympics proved this point based on the response of some of my friends both male and female.
The commercial to which I am referring highlighted the number of consecutive gold medals Canada’s hockey team had won. The interesting point is that many assumed the commercial was about the men’s hockey program, and were surprised to discover that the commercial was actually talking about the women’s success on Olympic ice. the latter revelation came about as a result of the commercial ending with images of the women’s team.
The irony of course is that this was not a conscious response that was meant to diminish the women’s hockey program, but instead reflects a preprogrammed thought process that exists beneath the surface.
Even though it is not a competition between men’s and women’s hockey in Canada, one might based upon the above points, wonder if women have to generally work harder and achieve twice as much as men to receive the same recognition. My reference here is based upon the women having won four consecutive gold medals versus the men’s two consecutive victories.
Some might even go so far as to suggest that had the men failed to capture gold in Sochi that the women’s accomplishment, while praiseworthy, would not have made up for such a loss.
In the end, I believe that both teams have a great deal about which to be proud. I also believe that we as Canadians generally celebrate the uniquely different yet heroic efforts of an amazing group of women and men to carry themselves in a manner worthy of being called champions.
Now if we could only find a way to move this sentiment from the ice to the boardroom.
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