It’s Women’s History Month, which provides a month-long reminder of how great women are in leadership and legacy across the world and here in America. It also provides us a moment to think about who we are right now, what we are contributing to, and how we can do more. Right? Right!
So I wanted to ask women to stop using the term GirlBoss. We are truly beyond needing the word “girl” in front of the word “boss.”
I'm not a #GirlBoss. I'm a #Boss.
I have owned a business for almost 15 years, and I have never referred to myself as a GirlBoss, mainly because I felt the phrase diminished my power and respect in a business world still run by men. Why would I want to diminish the title “boss” by adding “girl” in front of it – especially when I’m not a girl in need of guidance, but a woman who is strong and more than capable.
It's 2017. Perhaps there was a time and place for GirlBoss, although I never supported it. I truly feel that adding a gender word in front of a title like boss hurts more than helps, especially if we want all things equal.
Has anyone ever used BoyBoss to describe a man in charge of a business? No, because it sounds dismissive, patronizing, and – let’s face it – stupid.
I think all ages of women can share this sentiment. No apologies and no more gender words in front of “career titles” needed. Please stop. I have always loved how sports have helped women push forward the ownership of their glory. On March 1st, espnW released this video, reminding us all that “What I’m doing here is not for you” and “I don't agree that ‘playing like a man’ is a compliment.”
The same principles apply to business. Throughout my career, I have been told several times by men that “you do business like a man” – and they meant that as praise. Well, I am a woman who does business like a woman – intelligently and professionally – so men shouldn’t minimize my gender to raise me up. As soon as I hear a statement like that, I secretly consider telling the man how great it is that he does business like a woman (but yeah, that would be defeating my point here).
Raise your hand if you have heard that you can be intimidating, bossy, and awfully independent. Whenever I hear statements like that, I smile because it reminds me that everyone has insecurities, not just me.
Ladies, if you’re “awfully independent,” good for you – it means you're doing things the right way, because it is my belief that all people should strive to make their own money and create their own successes. We also know it’s not just the man that's been putting food on the table for his family – it has been women, too – but we have not been jumping up and down saying “Look at me! Look at me!” because we are busy mastering the multitask life to get it all done and do our best. Lately I have also been thinking about how sad it is that I can name male inventors but not really any that are female. Can you?
Quick: Who’s Ada Lovelace?
(Answer: The first computer programmer.)
What did Hedy Lamarr create, other than classic movie performances?
(Answer: Early wireless technology.)
What we learned in school did not really cover female inventions, so I have been reading about them, learning their names, and gaining inspiration from them. One.org did a great quick read on “10 Female Inventors You Should Know About.”
Hey Boss, I am proud of you. Pass it on, pay it forward to other bosses who happen to be female. Your title doesn’t need a softening qualifier like “girl.” You’ve earned your position. You’re a qualified professional, not a token.
Who, and what, you are is more than enough.