02 Aug 2017
By Hannah Fitzhardinge
Director of Integral Women in Leadership and Senior Consultant at Integral Development
Who would have thought the placement of a statue of a bold young girl to mark International Women’s Day would create such controversy!
Facing Wall Street’s famous bronze bull statue, the ‘Fearless Girl’ stares down the charging bull, hands on hips and chin jutting forward.
This powerful stance – famously researched by Harvard social psychologist Dr Amy Cuddy – is common across cultures signifying strength, power and dominance.
But what was it that caused such a reaction to this statue? The bull’s sculptor has spoken up of his feeling that the girl was ‘attacking the bull’ and others have spoken out about the idea that the very notion of capitalism is being unfairly challenged.
While the sculpture has achieved its purpose to draw attention to gender diversity in banking and on corporate boards, something about the bold stance has irked commentators.
Perhaps the criticism relates back to an unconcious bias. The research tells us that assertiveness in women is still being perceived as bossy and controlling.
So how can women walk the line between being an effective leader and being seen as ‘too bossy’?
Identifying and eliminating power robbers (the famous ‘sorry’ being one of them), using more powerful body language, and connecting with authentic purpose and values are just some of the techniques explored in our one-day Assertiveness for Women program.
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