KnowThyBrand - Championing gender inclusion in business

Girls are raised to be perfect, boys to be brave - Denise Voss

March 17, 2022 Giulia Iannucci Season 2 Episode 4
KnowThyBrand - Championing gender inclusion in business
Girls are raised to be perfect, boys to be brave - Denise Voss
Show Notes

We often hear that one of the main challenges that women face when climbing their career ladder is the lack of self-confidence.

Denise Voss shares a very interesting point: women are not born without confidence, somehow along the journey, we become less confident.

Denise is Chairwoman of LuxFlag, an independent and international organisation that promotes the raising of capital for sustainable investments, and she is an inspiring role model for women willing to grow their careers.

In particular, Denise shares a talk from Reshma Saujani in which she explains how our lack of confidence has a lot to do with external factors like the way we are raised. Traditionally boys are being raised to be brave, to dare, to jump from trees, while for girls the expectation is that they should be calm and reliable, ultimately to be perfect. 

The consequences are that women are less likely to take risks, and in the workplace, this means that women are less likely to apply for jobs they are not 100% qualified (while men do it as long as they are at least 60% qualified, as demonstrated by a Hewlett Packard study) and are less likely to put their hands up for a promotion. 

So what can we do about it? 

Denise's practical recommendations include

  •  Get a mentor, even more than one. Someone that can encourage and support you
  •  Find a sponsor, or super mentor, someone that can help you get that next promotion 
  •  Network, with other women but not only. Put yourself out there, meet other people, learn from them, create new opportunities 
  •  Practice public speaking, even if it feels like a very daunting task, you can do it.  What it takes, in Denise's own words, is planning, preparation and practice.
  •  Take that leap! Sometimes you just need to go for it. And if it doesn't work out, don't worry, you are not a failure, everyone fails at something sooner or later, that won't define you as a person. Instead, learn from the experience. 

The best part? Denise shows us what a real role model is: someone who can inspire us not only with her achievements but also by sharing the hurdles she faced along the way.

This episode is part of a series dedicated to the campaign "The power of Gender Equality" a campaign that KnowThyBrand and the LhOFT have launched to champion women in finance and technology 

Sound (unfortunately) unseen for this episode.

Listen to Reshma Saujani here

Read about the Hewlett Packard study here