I was honoured to speak along side, Lisa Von Strumer, CEO of Growing City & “Dragon’s Den” Tamer at The Founder’s Collective. Our topic of discussion was the ‘new working woman’. Here are some key points discussed at the event:
Definition of the new working woman
In the traditional definition, the working woman acts as the pillar of strength to support her husband’s career first and foremost. She would be the one that does the compromising and the one who takes care of all domestic duties. If she works, it’s considered a ‘bonus’. Her passions and her desire to grow professionally take a backseat to her partner’s. The new working woman has a career, not just a job. She is excited to embrace her passions and strives for an equal partnership with her husband. How this balance looks like will differ from couple to couple, but there is a shift from the mentality that the woman’s main role is to take care of the household as her primary (only)role.
Relying on a man as a financial strategy isn’t much of a strategy at all.
I came from a very traditional upbringing where my father was the one who brought in the income and my mother was the caretaker of the home. This mentality supported the model that, for a girl, regardless of how hard she works, she’ll eventually just married and her husband will be the primary breadwinner. A few years ago I was in a relationship with a man who shared this traditional idea of gender roles. It wasn’t until that relationship fell apart, that I realized that relying on a man for a financial plan isn’t much of a strategy at all. I learned that all I have is to count on is myself, what I’m doing and if I so happened to one day meet a partner that can complement that, then it’s a bonus, not what should be relied on.
Raise the bar of who you choose as a partner.
It’s so important to find someone who is going to be up for being an equal pillar of strength for you. Growing up, I was so distracted with trying to find a man, keeping a man or getting over a man. I’m at a point in my life and career where I have so much momentum and amazing opportunities. Unless I find a partner who together, we can be an equal force – where together we can create more impact and be more powerful as a team, I’d rather be single.
“I truly believe the single most important career decision a woman will make is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is. I dont know of one woman who is in a leadership position who does not have a partner that is fully, and i mean fully, supportive of her career.”Sheryl Sandberg
Define your boundaries.
What is acceptable to based on your values? How do you react when someone crosses those boundaries? As a woman working in a male-dominated field, there are some challenges that come up just because of gender. I recall a time early in my career when a male colleague had slapped my ass at a conference after-party. At that time, I was mortified and blamed myself. Since then, I have learned to be very conscious of the energy that I exude and how I present myself. What’s different? My energy.
It is a mindset of the boundaries that you have, what you are willing to take and not take, and what will you take a stand for. When you present yourself with that confidence and non-tolerance of someone breaking those boundaries, you exude a certain energy and demand a certain level of respect.