Don't Be A Frita!
Author | Podcaster | Founder & Managing Partner at The COMO Group | Published on LinkedIn
Since its inception in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, women around the world have been celebrating International Women’s Day. Today and every day, we embrace our one-of-a-kind selves, pay tribute to those before us who paved the way, and seek out ways to help others in our circle of influence.
For many years, I have carried a torch for Diversity & Inclusion…seeking to raise awareness of the opportunities to improve gender equality in the workplace. My own personal belief is that women are equal but different. We can and must succeed while embracing our femininity, and we should not have to act like a man to successfully climb the corporate ladder.
In order to build a better future for our daughters and granddaughters, we must have the support of women AND men in these conversations. Without the support of men, women are simply “preaching to the choir.”
Throughout my own career, I am honored - but also a little sad - that all my professional mentors have been men. Perhaps the lack of female mentors was due to working in primarily male-dominated environments. For so long, the c-suite has had few female leaders…but fortunately that tide is now changing.
When it comes to women supporting other women, I would like to take a moment to highlight what most female leaders have discovered…but perhaps don’t discuss openly. In my experience, women tend to fall into two distinct camps.
Some women positively use their success to help propel the progress of others.
Some insecure women have a scarcity mindset and ruthlessly compete with other women in the workplace. In our recent fictional business thriller novel The F Place we have such a character…her name is “Frita”. Once you read the book, you will fully appreciate the meaning behind “Don’t be a Frita!”
Do you know or work with a “Frita”? On the surface, she may seem friendly and good natured…but when you dig deeper, you soon discover that her words and actions are in conflict. The further she climbs up the corporate ladder, the better she gets at knocking other women down the ladder. She thrives on power and desires to be the Queen Bee. She will not allow anyone to stand in her way, let alone another intelligent, driven woman like you.
You have worked hard for your success! Life has not always been easy, but you choose to embrace a meaningful mindset and shine a light in the world. You choose to challengethe status quo and have shattered a few glass ceilings throughout your career. You share your knowledge, life lessons, and wisdom with the people around you and “pay it forward” by investing in the personal and professional Transformation of the women in your community.
On this 110th anniversary of International Women's Day, I choose to challenge each of you (myself included) to take actions today that will create a brighter future tomorrow:
1) Recognize and celebrate where you are right now on your Transformation journey. You have already accomplished so much since you began your professional career!
2) Reflect upon and write down 3 big hairy audacious goals that you plan to accomplish this year. Work with an accountability or promise partner to hold yourself accountable for achieving those goals.
3) Identify 3 (or more) women in your circle that you can support and mentor. Make time for them each month, invest in their development and help them to grow!
Imagine what the world could look like next year on International Women’s Day if each of us positively invested in the lives of 3 (or more) other women! Let’s do this! What are you waiting for?