I bet there are more women who settle for jobs that are really not at par with their skills. (Or *cough cough* settle for bad relationships when they deserve better.) Moreover, it’s not also surprising that women are under represented in many industries that are considered hotshot like major consumer goods, finance, mining, construction, etc. And, even though there might be companies that have pretty much an equal number of men and women on their payroll, generally, women still earn less than men.
Over time, women have been made to think that we must be courteous and modest. And this, my friends, is the culprit. A lot of us overdo it and that’s what makes us always the underdogs in several industries. For example, there was a study conducted by the Columbia Business School that asked men and women about scores from a test they took 15 months prior. For the most accurate answers, they will be rewarded with $50. Ending: on average, men inflated their scores by 30%, and women, by 14%.
What does this say? It means that at the back of our heads, women still think that there is a reward for being modest. A lot of us are still uncomfortable acknowledging our accomplishments, calling ourselves certain titles and even admitting to ourselves that we are beautiful. How many times have you complimented someone and she just shrugged it off or tried to highlight something negative about it? Come on girls, we are better than this. (Add to that the fact that women are still expected to be the default homemaker and that it’s still taboo if we earn more than our male lovers.)
Instead of trying to minimize our competence, we should be proud about it and we should continue honing it. This does not mean though that we must go bragging about it. Instead, we work on our strengths, compete and never stop building a stellar resume. Through this, we will get better in our chosen fields and we are constantly conscious of what we’re good at and those which we are not. Also, if somebody compliments you, say a gracious “thank you”. As a follow-up, you can share a little about your technique (for example: somebody compliments you for your shiny hair or for your perfect score in your last law exam). If you can, throw back a compliment. Aside from self-pride, this also makes for better camaraderie.
So girls, let’s stop being too modest. Let’s stop thinking that we should be ashamed for being successful, learned or beautiful. It’s about time we stop shortchanging ourselves.
Love day just passed. But it’s never too late to start loving yourself better.