Here I am, a Las Vegas author and I ask the question “Are women Alpha Babes or Savvy Power Women? Are we men bashers or classy and sexy while being a force in Corporate America?”
The really big question: What are we?
I was facing this dilemma while working to create a new web site. Seems like an easy task. You buy a domain name and off you go. But which domain name? I have bought so many I could open my own store! Well, I have learned from the marketing guru’s “Ask others”. So I did. Some marketing advisors said use a web site name that will attract women by the shock factor. Some said no, women need respect so stop calling them babes!
One website for women is called www.pinkmagazine.com after the new magazine PINK; a very well respected group of women have put this together with support from some popular names like Ann Curry of NBC. The magazine describes itself as “Forbes meets Oprah”.
What are we to think? Is this a good thing? Should we be represented by the color pink? When I think of pink, I see the fuzzy slippers I had at age seven! So, my dilemma continued, outrageous to get women’s attention or promote respect with what I call the Savvy Power Woman. So, what is a savvy power woman? I believe it’s a woman who hits hard on the issues but looks great, composed, and articulate and can go toe to toe with any man in any situation.
Recently, on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, White House Homeland Security advisor Fran Townsend spoke about the current conditions regarding the war on terror and homeland security. I was so impressed by her presence and style. I was able to listen carefully to her answers. She is articulate and never flustered by those questions, well, in today’s political climate anyone representing the White House is usually on the defensive. Not Ms. Townsend. She was cool, calm and to the point. She, to me, represents the essence of a savvy power woman.
With this knowledge in hand I looked further and found other examples of savvy power women. This research still did not help me with a website name. After all, who can remember how to spell savvy? Is it saavy or savvy or savy. Well, enough confusion I need to find the right words to get women to my website.
The next step was to work with my coach. Of course, don’t we all have coaches now? Well mine is really intuitive and you can find her at www.thesecretin10minutes.com , ok there s the plug part. My coach and I mind stormed to focus on what I am trying to accomplish with this website.
I said to her “I want women to be heard (ok, one of my really good advisors wanted me to go with “hear her roar” after the song “I am woman, hear me roar”, but that didn’t feel right either). I want women to use their talent and confidence to go beyond the gender curtain, stripping away all the barriers that stand in front of them as they try to find career success. If we start with the look, the wardrobe, the physical presence, the way they hold themselves and manage each interaction with their male counterparts in life; once these barriers are gone, a woman’s voice can be heard. I want to give women a real voice in Corporate America, let’s have Business Women Speak!” Well, you can guess the rest. This is the final answer, lock it in and I created the website Business Women Speak. They speak with everything that they wear, how they look, how they act, what actions they take and what actions they don’t take. Then, they give you all their talent and skill which Corporate America can now utilize to its fullest.
With 35% of today’s MBAs female, it’s still rather sad that only 11 women are CEOs of the Fortune 500. The media covers all the controversial ones, but I am waiting for the female Le e Iacocca to emerge. She is hiding inside one of our top 50 great companies waiting patiently for her voice to be heard. If you know who she is, please let me know.
PINK Magazine reports on women breaking through. Currently, they discuss Susan Decker, former head of Yahoo’s Advertising and Publisher Group. She has now been named President of Yahoo, the stepping stone to CEO. Decker joined as CFO in 2000 so I am pleased to see a financial executive move to a role outside the traditional treasury function. Another exciting move is at PepsiCo, Inc. where CFO, yes another financial type, Indra K. Neoyi replaced the male CEO in the fall of 2006 and today sits as CEO and Chairman of the Board. These moves are significant for two reasons; 1. The move for a woman to CEO or President is still so unusual that we are still cheering when it happens and 2. The CFO is finally being looked at as more than just the accounting and treasury manager. The vast array of knowledge and talent of our CFOs, many new and up and coming women, helps them to reach far beyond the field of accounting into the realm of operations and marketing, making them ideal candidates for CEO.
So, as I settle in on a website called Business Women Speak. I am encouraged by the big players finally recognizing talent. For me, sitting in Southern Nevada of all places, I continue to look for ways to bridge the gap between the world’s perception of the business woman and business women in general. From Wall Street to Main Street women are still conflicted with the “babes image” and the “be like the guys” image.
At least I have solved my web site name problem. Well at least for now. I am thinking about working on someting for financial executives. What do you think about “The Enlightened Corporate Controller”? Well, that’s for another story and another web site. Until then I will just listen to business women as they speak!