Dad’s Call to Action – Raise UP Your Girls!!!
For the last several months there has been a major call to action for women to ‘lean in’, stand up, rise, up, take a seat at the table and more. Many of those actions are warranted; although for seasoned women, like myself, it is much harder to change course; though not impossible.
There has even been calls for companies and the male leaders that run those companies, to get current and drive changes into their organizations and their own mindsets, to remove the gender barrier that perpetuates in business.
But in order to make eternal change…. it is my belief we have to look to the first couple of influencers in a woman’s life – who have the greatest impact on how she perceives herself to the world and to herself – her parents, but more specifically for this piece, her father.
Studies abound, highlighting the negative or positive influence father’s have on a young girl turned woman’s life; from relationships, to educational opportunities, to career aspirations and beyond. And if ‘Dads’ were conscious and aware of their impact on them from Day 1….future generations of women would be raised instinctively to lean in, stand up, raise their hand, take their seat, and go after anything and everything their hearts want.
My own Dad, who was a father to 12 children – 6 of which are girls, possessed that consciousness. From day 1 of each of our lives, he stressed the importance of self-love, education, financial astuteness, career aspirations, world travel, and so much more; even how to fly fish as he did with my 6 brothers. Not to say he didn’t have his own male chauvinistic ways – he did; and admittedly, he claims it was a result of his upbringing in the depression era, then the army, then in very much the ‘man’s world’ of business. As a result, he wanted different for his own girls…and as I detail in my book, Shedding the Corporate Bitch, he went on to father me as if I was ‘His Seventh Son’.
So, my call to action for all Dad’s: From Day 1…..
- Teach your ‘Daddy’s little girl’ to be a strong, fearless and confident girl
- Teach her the sports stats, stock market, savings and budgeting
- Engage with her in sport, competition and fair play
- Let her tag along with you when buying a car, a house, or other asset requiring negotiating
- Take her to work and allow her to witness your work ethic as well as your specialty and expertise
- Teach her to dialogue, debate and delight with other women and men – speaking her truth, opinions and her passions
- Teach her how to be independent and to care for herself, which in turn will allow her to care even more for others in her life
- Treat her like a girl and woman while respecting her nerve, boldness, strength and smarts
- See her in a dress and pigtails while also in a power suit (or dress)
Girls turned women will always be daddy’s little girl with dreams of a prince charming, family, kids, white picket fence, and love everlasting. But girls also want careers, businesses, world platforms and enterprises to throw their passions into.
Last call to action:
- Teach your little girl how to truly have it all while collaborating, debating, compromising and working with others in her life, who also loves her as their own, to champion her in achieving those things!!!
Bernadette Boas is the ball of fire behind Ball of Fire Consulting, Ball of Fire Inc. (media/publishing) and her book Shedding the Corporate Bitch, Shifting Bitches to Riches in Life and Business. Bernadette is a speaker, radio personality of Shedding the Bitch Radio, business growth consultant and coach, and the leader of the Shedding the Bitch® movement, transforming individuals, businesses and their company cultures to one of RICHness and profit.