Do You Feel Guilty As An Ambitious Women?  

Try to fit into the right mold, say the right thing, have the right approach, be perceived in the right way, attractive but not too sexy, is the myriad of conflicting messages we receive as women who want to lead a successful career. Everybody is undecided about how they want to perceive women. If you feel passionate about achievement but fear that you may be perceived as too weak, abandoning your family, or too overbearing, you are not alone.

What Is A Double-Blind?

The rungs of power are slowly being taken over by strong, independent women, whether they’re building their ranks as heads of state, media influencers, or corporate leaders. Although the status they’re given is still too harsh and discouraging. They’re judged continuously by men and also other women.

Whereas males are entitled to have full reign and can have their full, complex personalities on the show. There are many stereotypes of women with ambition and those who have accomplished their dreams.

Ice Queen

If a woman shows emotion within the workplace, then they are often perceived as too unstable and fragile to lead. The truth is, everyone has feelings, men, women, children, animals. On the other hand, if a woman shows no emotion, they’re considered hyper-professional and icy, leading to unfeminine and, of course, that word, bitch.

It is a no-win situation. If a woman is seen to be giving orders, they are seen as overconfident and bossy. Whereas, if a man did the same, he’s seen as strong and assertive. Just because a woman or man may show empathic, sad, or angered emotions doesn’t mean they aren’t capable. Although these points should be obvious, many are undecided.

Single And Lonely

If a woman is single, they’re expected to be unhappy and lonely. Never do we think they can be single, happy, and fully content with their lives.

If a woman possesses herself to be powerful, this can be seen as intimidating. If a woman is single, she is portrayed as lonely and seen as spending too much time on the job instead of her personal life.

Masculine

Masculine traits are embedded in what we consider successful leadership, such as competitiveness, assertiveness, so for a woman to succeed, she must demonstrate these qualities. However, if she happens to tip this a little too far outside what is perceived as unfeminine, she is seen as masculine.

Leading teams of people require leaders to understand what brings the best out of everyone, individually and collectively. What motivates people? How do they see themselves? What do they value? How do they express those values in typical workplace behavior?

The good news is more organizations realize performance excels in team-based leadership where individuals collaborate, communicate, and influence within a team and across the organization. This relies on feminine characteristics of communal-style leadership whereby facilitation, coaching, and empowerment are utilized. Could this be a double-bind bias?

Emotional

One of the biggest and most dangerous stereotypes a woman can face in business is that they are prone to an emotional outburst. When women show anger, they may be perceived as bitchy or in an ungoverned erratic state. They are rarely seen as an ambitious woman. A man would be considered to be directive, creative or authoritative.

A Token

Companies take their goals in diversity very seriously. But it doesn’t mean they will settle for less, so they will always choose the best person for the job. Women are hired because they fit that job role and their experience and education and what they can do for the company. A woman will have to work hard to prove her credibility and gain acceptance to prove her worth is merit-based.

I recall a job I held during my early 20’s. I was summoned to a meeting with an investment group with six male colleagues also in attendance. However, I was told not to speak. I complied, but as the meeting came to an awkward silence, the investment firm’s director asked for my opinion.

I detailed my thoughts, and the director then remarked on the credibility of my points, and the meeting continued with my direction of the topic. This did change the way I was perceived in the company somewhat, but maybe more as a cheerleader with a great pitch. No surprises, I quit shortly after.

Ambition in a woman can be considered feminine, friendly, and warm, but once power is thrown into the recipe, it can become a different game. This doesn’t mean men are the problem; both men and women need to question how we perceive women in the workplace.

Bad Mothers 

Mothers are always faced with a no-win situation, especially when juggling a family with a career.  If you are dedicated to your children, you are an incompetent employee; if you are committed to your career, you are a bad mother.

Are Gender Stereotypes Still Relevant?

Women are considered fragile; maybe they will break, especially if something doesn’t go her way.  When are women considered too fragile when things don’t work out with the children, home-schooling, or caring for elderly parents? When was a female nurse ever asked if she was strong enough to lift a patient? Of course not, so we see conflicting messages, and many are left undecided with how to feel about this.

Whatever Choice Is The Wrong Choice

It is not about creating one ‘correct’ way, but it is about accepting performance results can be achieved by all sexualities in different ways. To society, when it comes to equality for women, every choice is wrong. So, ignoring society’s misconceptions will help free us from the stereotypes imposed upon us as women. This is the key, and what we must do to realize our worth.