Drive it like you stole it. Really?

Recently, I came across a post, expressing the widely felt frustration that the needle isn’t moving for women with leadership ambitions. But blaming men doesn’t solve it. What makes a woman successful is being herself.

‘Ladies, “they” don’t want us behind the wheel. So, we better drive it like we stole it,’ the author wrote. But I wondered: isn’t that’s exactly what ‘they’ think we’re doing anyway?

‘They’, I assume, are ‘men’ in general. I actually do meet men who are ready to hand ‘us’ the wheel. But that aside. As long as we, women keep bashing ‘them’, ‘they’, including our allies, have no reason to make space for ‘us’. On the contrary. Power struggles excite ‘them’ and usually, they’re better at it than most of ‘us’. ‘We’, on the other hand, are ready to share even that stolen car, because this is one of our values.   

In many places, ‘we’ have secured our right to be behind the wheel, be it by means of regulations or quotas. But then what happened? The Great Resignation. The Great Breakup. Translated: women got out of the car and ran a mile. Why? Because ‘they’ use whatever means they have to defend their spot. ‘They’ pinch our bottoms, ‘they’ sneer at us, ‘they’ steal ideas, ‘they’ interrupt us, etcetera. ‘They’ play dirty, because it works. Outcompeting the other is one of their values. 

‘Stop asking for permission to lead, promote and spend the power, influence and budget that is rightfully *yours.* We all know that the guy who held your position in the past never did. If you don’t use the power you’ve earned when you finally have it, what’s the damn point?’ she wrote.


If you follow me, you know that these ‘flaws’ are driven by the values of our We-Mind, which we don’t really value. This post, like many others, tells ‘us’ to be like ‘them’. It tells we-minded professionals to be me-minded. And we’re not. If we were, rally cries like these would not be necessary. 

Women are not men, and should not aspire to be. By doing so, we demean ourselves, just like ‘they’ do us. If you’ve read my book, you know that I too used to be one of the many women who look down upon other women who prioritize caring over earning, who are into essential oils or yoga, instead of finance or IT.  But isn’t that the diversity that adds color to our world? 

Not all women (nor men) want to get behind the wheel. But those who do, should do so in their own, authentic, womanly way. What does that mean?

1: Don’t waste your energy trying to teach yourself to go against your grain. Love yourself just the way you are. Be true to your values. What you perceive as your flaws are in fact your strengths. 

2: Use all your power and skills (hard and soft) to make yourself seen by decision makers. 

3: Find yourself a mentor, but more importantly, a sponsor who will open doors for you. 

4: When confronted with foul play, don’t take it personally. It’s not about you, it’s about winning. Tap into your competitive mind and fight back with grace. 

5: Once you are behind the wheel, do start rewriting the rules to make the workplace more welcoming to all.   

Now, go for it! Good luck!

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