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Every once in a while, when you listen, you hear the thundering roar of women standing in their authentic power, bringing their whole selves to work, demanding that they are paid what they are worth, working together to leverage each person’s strengths, and enjoying every single minute of it.
The deafening roar of the crowds at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the parade in New York City for the U.S. women’s soccer team yesterday gave power to women of all ages in owning their value, worth, and humanity.
Throughout the World Cup and even the ticker-tape parade there were chants of “equal pay.” We can have discussions on equal pay at conferences, in government offices, and the boardroom, but when an entire soccer stadium and crowds start chanting it, the issue gains the momentum it needs. The team's 28 players sued U.S. Soccer earlier this year, accusing the organization of institutionalized gender discrimination.
The U.S. women’s team stood in their power, celebrated their successes, and owned their victories. They did not play the quiet, shy female appreciating her win. They did not have calm confidence. They had a blow-your-socks-off sense of joy, confidence, and power that electrified both the team and the crowds. This confidence drove them to victory and the crowds along with them each moment. Isn’t this what we want in organizations – to have so much joy and confidence that it is infectious throughout the culture and employees?
Many accused the team of being arrogant. Women with hubris are not often seen in a positive light in business. But watching Megan Rapinoe during the World Cup, it became apparent that she was leading with justifiable and infectious confidence and power. Where is the line between arrogance and confidence? Why should the line be different between men and women at work?
What I appreciated about Megan’s speech was she embraced her entire team – their individual value and their diversity. “We’re chillin’. We’ve got tea sippin’. We’ve got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We’ve got white girls and black girls, and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls.” She made it clear that their victory was because of their diversity, not despite it.
I challenge all women who feel they can’t bring their authentic self to work to take a look at the U.S. women’s soccer team this week. Be yourself. Own your worth, brilliance, and strengths. Take up the space you deserve and celebrate with a sense of power, confidence, and humility
To win in the market, organizations must treat women as equals, pay them as equals, and allow them to bring their authentic selves to work. Women who are confident and excellent at what they do can transform your organization.
About the AuthorMore Content by Lynne Levy