Why Women?

Why Women
Katherine Hanlon courtesy of Unsplash

Last week I wrote a blog entitled “Why Yellow Dot?” explaining the meaning behind the name.  But the business is called Yellow Dot Women, so, in the interests of completeness, I thought I would try to explain why the focus is on Women.

Well, first of all, it is worth pointing out the obvious – I am a woman.  I have, therefore, experienced many of the joys and disappointments that being a woman can bring, I have achieved many of my life goals and encountered multiple obstacles along the way – some of those opportunities/obstacles existed purely because I am a women.

I believe I have something meaningful to say on the subject.

I have also spent over twenty years working in training and development with men and women.  Over that time I have noticed some common themes.  When men focus on their development needs (and I am generalising) they tend to want to acquire new skills in order to “do” something, whereas women are more likely to focus on development that allows them to “be” a certain way.

Women tend to want to “be” more confident, more assertive or more resilient.  We are drawn to learning which we can assimilate at an intellectual, emotional and psychological level.  We want to become more X and less Y.

This does not mean that women are less confident, assertive or resilient than men, simply that we are more likely to focus on those areas as a development need.

I find this entirely unsurprising.  Women face a barrage of conflicting, standard raising, media images and headlines every day telling us that we need to be “more X” or “less Y”.  Be slimmer, more beautiful, better dressed, less whiny, a better lover/mother/partner/boss/employee.  We are told to “eat clean” but that comfort comes in the shape of a cake or a glass of wine.  It is not possible to be all the things we are told we ought to be.

I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of women I have met who believe themselves to be enough.  Those that I have met are not young women.

It takes time to grow into ourselves, to accept ourselves, to become more (if never quite completely) immune to the pressure to be perfect.

Meanwhile, women are trying to learn and grow against a backdrop of increasing everyday misogyny.  Until recently I thought that we were on a slow but steady journey towards genuine equality but now I believe that journey has been de-railed and delays can be expected.  The #metoo campaign, the gender pay gap, the prevalence of upskirting, #ToxicTwitter, mansplaining and the increase in the term feminazi all point to the fact that this is an uncomfortable time to be a woman trying to find her way in the world.

Yellow Dot Women aims to

  • Provide thoughtful commentary and blogs on the issues facing women today.
  • To offer one to one coaching to help women to develop and assimilate the skills they need navigate their daily lives and
  • To deliver workshops where women can work together to develop new skills and networks in a supportive environment.

Please understand that Yellow Dot Women is not in any way anti-men and I understand that men also face unique and difficult challenges in these changing times.  I also understand that many men are as horrified by misogyny as women are.

Men are welcome in the Yellow Dot community and I value any comments that support personal growth and the development of strong self-esteem.

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