wonder womanAttention Women of MLM: This One’s For The Girls

Ladies, if you came here for a rah rah session you couldn’t be further from it.

This might just be the (b***h) slap to the face many women are needing right now.

You might not realize but MLM as a whole is made up of more women than men. However, when it comes to the top income earner or leadership positions within the industry the majority of those positions are held by men. (Women make up 5.2% of all the top earners in any profession in and out of MLM)

Just by the sheer numbers of women in the MLM industry there should be MORE women than men leading the way for the industry. Why isn’t it that way?

Well, despite the fact that we’re grown women, we still have yet to completely let go of the rules we were taught as children on how little girls were “supposed to behave”. We can blame society for the fact that women are still viewed as being in the shadow of men. But I say it’s our own damn fault, we allow it to happen by the way we subconsciously act.

After realizing the imbalance in the MLM industry of women to men leadership I started doing research on why we still see this in society as a whole. Cuz face it, there still is no female equivalent of JFK or MLK Jr.

mary kay ash

Mary Kay Ash: The "First Lady" Of Network Marketing

Over the past 20 years studies have been done on leadership of men and women. When both men and women were placed in a room with a project assignment there has only been 2 cases over those 20 years where it was a woman that spoke first.

I have a feeling I probably would have been one of those 2 women because when it comes to getting something rolling and getting s**t done I can’t stand to sit around for someone to take charge of the situation. I wanna see things move!

So why is it that most women will not be the first to speak up? Is it because their lighter voices and smaller frames make it difficult to compete with the louder booming voices and physical size of men?

I read the notes about a seminar on leadership skills that always starts out with the speaker addressing both a man and a woman with the statement “you look like a powerful person”. In all cases the man would sit up higher, broaden his shoulders and nod his head. However, the majority of women would sit lower in their seat and kind of look around and try to avoid the attention.

So is it society that has created the belief that women are not strong leaders? Or are women creating and reinforcing that stigma with their actions?

Think about what a woman is up against if she’s the first to speak or take a role of powerful leadership:

  1. Challenges to their right to lead (“Who does she think she is?”)
  2. Derogatory name calling (behind their backs) that attack their femininity.
  3. Having their ideas openly challenged instead of built on.
  4. Having their ideas ignored, but then repeated as original by a man in the group.
  5. Being excluded from future meetings
  6. Having information that enables them to make good judgment withheld. (passive sabotage)
  7. Being given more menial assignments to “put them in their place” as punishment for speaking up.
  8. Being placated
  9. Being openly put down and ridiculed.
  10. And of course,,, being called the “B-word” (even being called a b***h by other women)

With all these negative reactions up against them it’s no wonder that women are reluctant to lead!

“No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Well ladies, there’s good news for us.

The leadership style of Command and Control that most men portray is a thing of the past. (With the exception of times of emergency and states of war, it’s just no longer effective in motivating people.) The leadership style that is more effective now is one that unites people behind a common vision, working towards a goal, and achieving results through people.

Ladies, if you’re a mom you do this all the time just to get your kids to bed. And if you’ve ever gotten your family to get into the car on time for a family vacation you’re a master at leadership. For you single ladies, if you’ve ever gotten your female roommates and friends to go out together for a night ON TIME then you have mastered leadership.

Even faced with ridicule or opposition women have found ways to sway people to perform as a group to get things done. Women lead all the time, we just don’t call it leadership.

Women want to lead, not for the sake of power and control, but to accomplish a greater good. Women have a completely different style of leadership than men do. We prefer to have a united consensus and move forward as a team. This is the perfect leadership needed for the Network Marketing industry. So why aren’t more women stepping up and taking charge and leading the way?

Are they still afraid of being called a bitch?

I’m probably going to be called a bitch just for writing this post. I’m not being bitchy, I’m taking charge and saying what needs to be said. True leadership is taking people where they NEED to go, not where they want to go.

gi janeLadies, you NEED to know this. You are powerful in your own way. There’s no need to be one of those crazy feminists and go burn your bra. Nor should you go put on a power suit and try to dominate a room with a male presence.

Because men make up the majority of leaders it is generally the only model we have to go by for how to lead. However, women that try to implement the leadership characteristics of men always EPICLY fail. No one respects a woman that puts on a false tie and shoulder pads and acts like a bitch on a power trip.

There are very few women that can be modeled for leadership skills. Any woman that is considered a leader within her field usually is not able to carry that over to another successful achievement. She must prove herself with every challenge.

“We still think of a powerful man as a leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.” ~ Margaret Atwood

I recently came across a blog that was directed at women in MLM and I was disgusted with the message within it. This blog suggested that because women are no match for men in society or business that they should choose to be in a “women friendly MLM”. WTF is that supposed to mean? Not all women want to sell lipstick or yarn. (In fact there’s a few of us that wouldn’t even know what to do with those two things LOL.)

I like my girly stuff, but it’s not something I would want to market because of the limitations of my target market. Ladies, if you’re marketing within a “women friendly” MLM with products targeted at women, you just cut off 1/2 of your potential market by cutting out the men. And you’ve definitely cut out women like me that are more interested in maximizing the potential of MLM and Network Marketing by appealing to as many people as possible. (If you’re intimidated by the idea of stepping out into a broader product category,,, I market gold and silver numismatic coins and you’d be surprised by how many women there are being successful in an industry most would perceive as being a “men’s club” type of MLM)

Ladies, if you want to viewed as equal you need to act like it. If you want to be a leader you can’t go out an buy shoulder pad inserts, you need to do it with the skills you already have. Just because you’ve been socialized from birth to be a helpmate and not a leader,,, it does NOT mean that you can’t change that.

No crying in baseball

"There's No Crying In Baseball!"

You already possess the qualities and characteristics needed for leadership within MLM. Women have traditionally had to lead through their wits, influence, and motivational abilities. And the time for putting these uniquely feminine leadership traits to use has arrived. This is not the time to be dainty, or get upset over a broken nail, and there’s no crying in Network Marketing.

You’re the queen of your own castle. It’s time to rule your own kingdom.

PS. If you want o be a great leader, then approach it as a skill to be learned. The greatest book I’ve ever read on female leadership has been “See Jane Lead”. (In fact, that’s where most of the content for this post came from). There’s some really stupid books out there on female leadership, make sure you get your hands on something current, because the older books instruct women to try and act like men in order to be leaders. If you remember the stupid power suits of the 80’s and on Designing Women then you know this just a stupid, bad idea.

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stephanie deneke

Stephanie Deneke