Is this empowering or limiting? Since trying to build my professional platform on LinkedIn it
has come to my attention how much it is used and sparked some frustration. When scrolling down my feed I quite often come across ‘female founder’ or ‘female ‘CEO’ however I never seem to come across ‘male founder’ etc. I began thinking about why this is and if it empowers females or is it actually dragging us down.
It is only within the 21st century that women have started breaking through the glass ceiling. The business world is a male-dominated industry and positions of power are filled mostly by men. Statistics show that women make up 6.4% of CEOs in the S&P 500 companies, which demonstrates how few women are dominating and taking these titles. Women had much later access into this world and are still much further behind today, nonetheless making record-breaking advancements. In a society built on patriarchal values. These positions of power are often filled by men, so you could say the term CEO was coined for men and is not accessible to women.
Yet with more women progressing and taking place as bosses, CEOs, and founders
the use of these titles has evolved. On the other hand, although it has evolved, we fall into
using these titles but placing females or women in front of them. It isn’t ‘I am a founder’ its ‘I am a female founder’. But why is this? By doing this it seems as if a CEO could only possibly be a man, the term was made for him to fill and we should add female on the front to ensure people know it is women in charge.
This isn’t disregarding the process and hardship that has gone into women filling these
positions and we should recognise it as a victory because it is. 100 years ago women could
only just start to vote, the start of a voice that was listened to. So now that 6.4% hold these
positions is an advancement and a change but at the same time females and males undermine this achievement by feeling the need to place female in front of it. It may come across as nothing to some people, and silly to others but when you break this down and look into what placing it does, it is like taking two steps forwards and then one step backwards.
On LinkedIn it is major, it is all over my feed, all the successful women I follow seem to fall
into this habit. It is like compensating, or almost shock that a woman could fill this role.
Which I understand because it is a lot less often than our male counterparts, but it doesn’t
make it any less successful when we do fill these roles nor should we change the title because a male or female CEO is no different from one another, we just make it different with this placement. It is systemic and engrained into both females and males, we need to stop being sorry for our own success! Yes, I am female, but I am also a founder!
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Cover Image art courtesy of Sophie Kathleen (@sophiekathleenn on IG)
A lover of Wilde and Shelley, and a guilty pleasure for 80s music. I believe chocolate and tea can solve 98% of my problems, I am always up for new challenges and learning new things!