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I’m not going to finish this post until I find my positive attitude

Categories: Working Women Issues, Your life


woman-stressed-out.jpgI’ve had a series of conversations this week that made me want to write a post filled with angry rants, complaints, and all sort of negativity.

  • In one conversation, a woman who has been working on building her business told me that she can’t get a technology outsourcing company to take her seriously enough to complete a great product. This woman has a resume that will knock your socks off, she is as smart and well-spoken, and has a solid business concept. But her business centers around moms and according to her, as soon as the tech shops with which she has connected hear this, they stop taking her seriously.
  • Another woman told that when she met with a development company to talk about her business one of the guys said: “Wow, you sound really confident!” He was surprised that a woman would understand technology that well and be as confident in her ability to build a business. (Can you imagine him saying this to another man?)
  • A mom told me about a recent experience she had at an interview. The person interviewing her was a woman and the second question she asked her was whether she was ready to focus on her job. Quote: “This isn’t really a place for mommy talk.”

None of these stories surprise me and yet each one shocks me. But I don’t want to write yet another rant about the way women entrepreneurs are often not taken seriously or about the mommy stigma in the workplace. I am going to go looking for my positive attitude and write the rest of this post when I find it. I don’t like to spin things, but I want to find a way to write about things like this that doesn’t just involve just complaining.

If you have ideas for how to maintain a positive attitude when reading or learning about things like this, please share it in the comments.

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5 comments so far...

  • This is a tough one. It’s difficult to stay positive and inspired when you run up against something like this again and again. I guess the only advice I can offer is to keep going for it — there are people out there who treat working moms and ideas about or for moms with respect and intelligence. Unfortunately, sometimes those people seem few and far between…

    Lylah  |  December 6th, 2007 at 9:53 pm

  • Hmmm, I’m not much help with the positive after reading those!

    Elizabeth  |  December 6th, 2007 at 11:31 pm

  • Chalk it up to ignorance.

    One of the reasons I wrote “The ParentPreneur Edge” was to prove that you can be a good mom AND serious about building a business. All the moms (and dads!) in my book are serious about their business - many of which are in the multi-millions in revenues - AND value being a good parent.

    People’s biases and ignorance are precisely WHY we need to just continue to push forward in our business endeavors but rather than focusing the stupid questions and reactions in our way as obstacles, we need to focus, instead in how we keep moving forward! Focus on the path. I believe in that so strongly that I hired an illustrator and now sell a note card that has that quote on it :-).

    Julie Lenzer Kirk  |  December 7th, 2007 at 10:24 am

  • hmm my first inclination is to come up with a positive but snappy comeback!

    the smart lady can say something like ‘you can back out now, but my rates double when you ask me back ;)’ I would assume she has already told them how she plans to make them money and they don’t believe her.

    and the techie guy that said ‘wow you are confident!’ yeah I can actually see them saying that to a man too - a lot of folks in those type of positions see themselves as ‘gurus’ and better than everyone else (generalization, of course it isnt true for all!) Usually the best is to just hit them up with logic and information - they are generally uninformed. “yes! i am confident! this is the next big market trend and i am helping to shape it with my product!” the key is to focus on the positives, he is remarking on your confidence - go with it! you should be confident! ignore the implications and just pull out what pieces you can that are positive and build on them!

    as for the last one - plain illegal! after the interview process (even if she did get the job) she should notify HR that this particular person is conducting this type of interview. however, if it’s a smaller company (under 25 i think?) they do not have to comply with those kinds of rules and can pretty much do whatever they want…

    it is up to us to change the perceptions, we can lay down and say ‘oh that guy hurt my feelings’ or we can laugh like we KNOW they MUST be kidding because they wouldn’t be so stupid as to insult such a smart, amazing, savvy business person!! The phrase ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ might have to be extended to ‘keep telling them until they believe you’ LOL

    Kate  |  December 7th, 2007 at 2:13 pm

  • I work in a primarily female field (elementary teaching) and I still hear sexist comments. It’s always nice when we can blow the stereotype of “the little lady teaching for fun and pocket money”. 1. I’m the primary breadwinner in my family. 2. I just had an article published in a professional journal (Wisconsin School Reading Association). 3. I just submitted a grant that, if I get it, will make an impact on reading instruction in my classroom. Oh, and my principal? She’s about 5′3″ and a black belt in karate. Don’t mess with us “little ladies”; you’ll lose.

    Daisy  |  December 9th, 2007 at 9:28 pm