Last week I was on a call with a woman in London whose business is making people safer from bullying over social media – specifically on Twitter. By working hard with multiple social media platforms, she is developing the governance structures that today do not exist. One man on our call kept insisting she should put her personal vision for a safer internet on hold and focus on getting acquired by Twitter. He suggested her goal should be an exit, above all else.
This week I was on a call with a woman whose business operates in Sri Lanka. She is creating an ecosystem of businesses owned by women that support one another in order to help them improve their communities and livelihoods. A man suggested to her that she needed to think about how to scale this, or not bother. Essentially: go big or go home.
Maybe some of you would agree that these men were correct.
But they made my blood boil.
To me, they were proof, yet again, of what is wrong with the guidance and the role models that all of us – men and women – are given in business.
Greed. Capitalism. More money. More profits.
It wasn’t that long ago that those of us who went to business school were taught that shareholder value was the single most important objective of a business.
But these selfish and short sighted goals are no longer acceptable and they are definitely not the ultimate objective for many women and men who are trying to make the world a better place.
Today my message is for the women out there who are trying to achieve their vision. Whether you live in London, or in Sri Lanka, or in the US: you must find the strength to believe in yourself and to tell these men, these very pushy and loud men: “No.”
Women, remember: be true to yourself.
The rest of us are counting on you.