With International Women's Day fast approaching, I began to think about a few things that have captured my attention lately. Like most women who travel extensively for work, I spend the majority of my days trying to manage life at home from the road -making every minute count. More than 200 days on the road in 2018, I started reflecting on things that make my life easier as an executive woman.
I first read about the story of Dry Bar founder, Alli Webb a few years back. Not surprisingly, as she began pitching to Venture Capital Firms, male investors didn't get it- a fact that makes the process as a female entrepreneur brutal when you KNOW your idea can transform an industry. It occurred to me, how many brilliant ideas are out there- being pitched by women to men who don't get it.
I've spent the majority of my years speaking to audiences that were mixed (age, gender, and race) creating what I call the best "vanilla" ice cream possible. Sharing stories that resonate with older and younger attendees- but don't alienate either. It's a tough thing to do. Sharing the story that resonates with the wives in the audience without emasculating the men in the room. Being charming, kind, direct, and empathetic - it's exhausting.
The one thing that remains clear to me as I continue to meet more incredible women is how they need to learn how to develop their pitches and stories in a way that can be received by the opposite sex. It's not about man versus women- as much as it is about the message getting across of what the benefit is. It sounds simple, but rather than saying Men "don't get it"- it really should be about taking them down the path and ensuring they understand and get it. You have to teach them and instead of being "polite"- be incredibly persistent.
I save an average of 8-10 hours a month getting my hair blown out at Drybar. In fact, I sit here now with my laptop in hand typing away while my hair is being styled thinking about what potential business opportunities have been missed because a man couldn't grasp the concept of a why good hair and a great blow out could transform your day.
Women like Dr. Silvia Mah are helping to transform the landscape in the investment space.
Organizations like the SoCal Marketing Club, aim to create events to bring together executive & entrepreneurial women together.
So, the next time you have a friend female or otherwise, that is doing an event or pursuing their pitch or startup. Sit, listen, buy the ticket and support them. Support starts with your time and attention.