“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell someone you are, you aren’t.” Margaret Thatcher
My family and closest friends tease me, because more than once, I have declared that I would like to be known as being “feminine, yet edgy.” And, I still do. But, I’m not sure I have ever stepped back to really explore what that actually means…
Feminine – characteristic of or appropriate or unique to women, in looks or perspective
Edgy – having a bold, provocative, or unconventional quality
Using these definitions as a guide, it seems that even Margaret Thatcher, who the world is mourning today, could be seen as “feminine, yet edgy.” And, Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, could also be seen as “feminine, yet edgy.” Then there is rocker Annie Lennox, another UK lady whose glory days took place in the 80’s…although I would consider her more “edgy, yet feminine.”
Regardless, all three completely different, and very successful women (The Iron Lady, The Lean In Lady and The Eurythmics Lady) would fit the definition in my book, and probably many of yours as well. But, I am none of them, and nor do I strive to be.
Now, I have to admit, I’ve had many a fantasy about being the leader of a nation, the head of a Fortune 500 company and, especially, a famous and talented rock musician. But, that is not what this is about. To me, it is about embracing who I am, and how I look as a woman, while not letting it define and limit what I can do as a person. It is also about being different and stepping out beyond conventional definitions to bring all of who I am and what I can do to the table.
As I venture out into becoming an impact investor and entrepreneur, I find that it is a world dominated by many talented, interesting and visionary people for whom I have a great deal of respect. But, it is also one that is dominated by men. There are many reasons for this, which are much too complicated to explore here (read Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” for a start.) For now, this feminine, yet edgy woman simply hopes to lead the way toward the industry becoming a bit more balanced.