Over the years I have seen that consumers can be categorized into thousands of groups and the same can be done with women in business. I learnt from a London School of Economics podcast that anthropologists are busy in the corporate world studying arch types or categories of people. The lecturer went on to write her findings about the behaviour of groups of bankers in a book.
I am of the generation of working women who tried to blend in with the guys, pretending that our shoulder pads and bow ties would help. Since then, we have come a long way in the world of work. To keep on growing, we women need to keep talking about how we are doing and how we can learn from each other.
Have we lost our ability to talk openly about women in work?
I remember back several decades when The Phil Donahue talk show did a fiery series of audience discussions on whether women should work in the armed forces. I can still see the reddened faces of the women as they stood up, facing off against each other with all their stereotypes of what could go very, very wrong. At first, these ideas seemed to support why women should not put on camouflage uniform.
Back then, I was agreeing with the women against women in the armed forces.
But Phil Donahue's ability to bring out all the stereotypes and look at them one-by-one, picking apart the logic, succeeded in convincing me that women who wanted to do the job should get the opportunity. Look where they are today. I learnt then that talking about stereotypes was a useful exercise to do instead of shouting sexism (which my university training sadly encourgaged me to do).
So I thought I would address women and financing and hope you will agree it is a positive to look at the stereotypes investors may hold and how women can overcome these.
After all, I worked through my stereortypes of women in the armed forces and my brother is married to a former soldier and, man ,can she fish, shoot, hike and camp.
Also, as an aside, Phil Donahue lost his crown as top American talk show host to Oprah Winfrey. Now there's a woman who knows how to do business.