In light of current events on campus, I’d like to show my support for the #CanYouHearUsNow protest, which has recently grown to gain national attention for the cause. The struggle to adjust to a social climate primarily dominated by the “white man” has been brought to light over the past three days through several personal testimonies and accounts of racism, sexism, and homophobia. President Herbst, in a response, pointed out that this is not a uniquely “Colgate Problem”, but rather a problem in the American Society as a whole- especially in the professional workplace. Statistics show that out of our nation’s Fortune 500 CEO’s, only 1% identify as black, 4% as women, and 0% as openly homosexual. Thus, the great majority of employees of these companies are looking up to heterosexual white man.
This reminds me of an article posted over the summer (link posted below), illustrating the journey of a black, female entrepreneur. Quisha King created a modified teething ring for her infant son, which she hoped to develop and manufacture herself. Though, she lacked a professional role model who shared her perspective and struggled to find other minority women who could offer first hand advice to aid her startup. She described her problem as the “double minority problem”, being a non-white woman, which is also a common situation among many Colgate students and current activists. She argued that she lacked both financial and social capital that many are privileged to have, which enable them to effectively network and market their products, leaving her inherently disadvantaged.
Despite the harsh realities of the minority struggle in today’s American society, there are glimpses of optimism and hope that can spark advancements, both professionally and socially. The article urges minority women and women as a whole not to shrink into socially established roles, but rather excel in what the are passionate about to gain professional respect from people of all walks of life. To effectively network, you must stand out among the crowd and display your true talents. We must highlight our strengths to show how we have overcome our weaknesses. As Colgate students push for a safer environment for both present and future students, we, as women, can use these lessons of perseverance and self-pride as we venture into the notoriously male dominated workplace.
For college seniors, returning to school in September is the beginning of the last hurrah: One last football season in the student section, one last round of fraternity and sorority rush and one last chance to host the epic house party that will be remembered for years to come.
Unfortunately, an impressive keg stand record doesn’t count as a hard skill, and adjusting the margins on your resume to make it look beefier won’t fool potential employers as easily as it did your Lit 201 professor. In today’s competitive job market, now is the time to start thinking about post-grad plans, particularly if your resume is lacking.
- To read the full article click here
Join us on Wednesday for our first Coffee Hour on how to find and best convey your strengths. Learn about the power of knowing your own strengths and how to describe them in the best possible way. You will even have access to a free online strength personality test! Coffee and donuts will be provided!
Over the summer I read an article in The Atlantic that concerned the purpose of this organization. “The Confidence Gap” by Katty Kay and Claire Shapman talked about what really holds many women back from reaching the top echelons of their respective career paths. Through all their interviews and conversations with accomplished businesswomen, Kay and Shapman realized what all these women had in common: self-doubt. Many women who had reached a high level of success claimed that luck accounted for some part of it. On the other hand, men were more likely to point to personal strengths and hard work as the catalysts of their achievements. The article says how many recent studies have shown that men display more confidence than women and this in turn could play just as big a role as competence when it comes to moving up the ranks of a company. Even when their performance and ability is the same, men believe they are more qualified while women tend to think they are less qualified.
What caught my interest in the article were female traits that Kay and Shapman said named as factors of this lack of confidence. Whether it’s our tendency to take the blame for when things go wrong or our perfectionism, it seems like as women we are constantly making the path to success more difficult for ourselves. From research it appears that this lack of confidence starts way before successful careers are even a concern: elementary school classrooms. At this age it is easier for young girls to behave and obey their teachers than it is for young boys. As a result of this, they get used to approval and praise and want to continue receiving it. This in turn makes girls more risk-averse. Unfortunately though, taking risks, making mistakes and persistence are “essential to confidence-building”. As girls grow older, research shows that they continue to lose self-esteem while boys tend to gain it.
While a lot of this seems like a gloomy outlook on women’s potential in the workplace and in life, the authors conclude the article by pointing out there are ways for women to improve and build their confidence. The advice they give is to “stop thinking so much and just act”. While of course this seems easier said than done, understanding what could be holding women back enables us to fight against these obstacles. Instead of overthinking and second guessing ourselves, we can accomplish more by taking action.
The full article can be found here: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/04/the-confidence-gap/359815/
- Click here to check out Emily’s LinkedIn
In 2009, when Amy Norman and Stella Ma started pitching investors on their San Francisco-based startup, Little Passports, both had young children and Norman was pregnant. The overwhelming majority of the investors they met with were men who wanted to know “if we were running this as a ‘lifestyle company,’” Ma recalls. Investors passed and word got around Silicon Valley that “there’s no way women like this could grow a company fast enough” to satisfy venture capitalists, Norman says.
Yet grow it did, to $5 million in revenue five years later. Norman and Ma eventually raised nearly $2 million for their education business, which sells monthly subscription packages to help kids learn about geography. Much of the funding came from a female investor group that saw in the idea potential that eluded many men.
With ‘brogrammer’ culture spreading through the male-dominated world of tech, Little Passports’ experience reflects a contrasting trend: Women are running an increasing number of America’s startups, and they make up a growing share of the angel investors funding them. Today women make up about 20 percent of both the entrepreneurs and investors involved in angel deals, up from single-digits a decade ago, according to the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research(PDF).
- Read the full article here