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Womeneralship - Exploring The Need to be an Iron Lady in a Man's World


by Shanice Hoo Mills

International Women’s Day finally arrived and it reminded us of how powerful we are as women.


The idea of being an independent, strong woman has evolved over the years. From fighting for the right to vote, to ownership, right through to equality on pay. Women for many years have had to fight for their voices to be heard.


Even in today’s new era, where women are still fighting to sit at the top, we see the misogynistic ideals seep through policies and media.


Don’t get me wrong, it is something that is progressive and we have been able to celebrate several victories in terms of women elevating in male dominated spaces. But the question is this, do we need to be iron ladies in terms of business as a necessary measure or a necessity. I say it is a necessity.


I enjoy being a woman, in fact, I love being a woman, but I am tired of having to fight for the respect I too should have received at birthright.



Since the beginning of time, especially since becoming an entrepreneur, I have had to put this iron cloak on not just as a woman, but as a black woman.


I want women, our words, our bodies, our businesses, our mere existence to be taken seriously across all accounts.

My vulnerabilities I protect and I downplay the emotional effects

being in a space like this has on me. I have experienced a variety of frustrations, from being inappropriately spoken to, sexualised, overlooked and not taken seriously from the first instance. And I can say it is exhausting to say the least.


I strive for excellence in all I do, but at times I feel like why do I bother? What is the point if I have to constantly fight to be heard or taken seriously? Well, I look at my daughter and think that’s exactly why. I want women, our words, our bodies, our businesses, our mere existence to be taken seriously across all accounts.


Standing firm in what you believe and what you stand for is important because we live in a society where people are highly influenced by whatever deems to be trendy.

So, I got past my anger, my frustrations and decided that it was a necessity to be an iron lady. I allowed the mixture of those emotions to be my strength when I felt weary.


Standing firm in what you believe and what you stand for is important because we live in a society where people are highly influenced by whatever deems to be trendy. I no longer desire to be heard by men who do not understand the perils of what it is to be a woman in todays’ society, because in my eyes they don’t deserve my air time.


I will not downplay my sexiness in fear of sexualisation because I am a woman and sexiness is part of our being. We are magical beings, strong beings, intelligent and complicated but that’s what makes us so magical. If you can’t respect what I bring to the table then you do not deserve to sit at my table nor will I beg to be a part of yours.


Consequently, womeneralship is never easy and there is no right or wrong because success is measured differently through the eye of the beholder. So yes, being an iron lady in business is needed because we will not downplay our offering and what we bring to the economy. In fact what we bring to this world!


 

Shanice Hoo Mills is a mother of one and founder of

Kallure Consulting, a London based communications agency.


 

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