In the modern era, where opportunities for women have expanded exponentially, it's ironic that many young women still grapple with the weight of traditional expectations. Cultural and societal norms about "traditional" female roles can be stifling, often making women question their career choices or feel guilty about prioritizing work over other aspects of life.
At 2B Bolder, we believe in empowering women to redefine success on their terms. Let's delve into this challenge and explore ways to overcome it.
The Weight of Tradition
From a young age, many women are subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) conditioned to believe that their primary roles are those of caregivers, homemakers, or supporters. While there's immense value in these roles, it's essential to recognize that women have the right to choose their path, whether it aligns with these traditional roles or not.
The Modern Woman's Dilemma
As women enter the workforce, especially those fresh out of college, they often face a dichotomy. On one hand, they're encouraged to pursue their passions, climb the corporate ladder, and shatter glass ceilings. On the other, they're reminded of the ticking biological clock, the expectations to start a family, and the societal judgments that come with prioritizing a career over family or vice versa.
Breaking Free from the Mold
At 2B Bolder, we've had the privilege of interviewing numerous successful women from various fields. A common thread among their stories is the courage to define success on their terms. Here's how:
1. Self-Reflection: Understand what you truly want from life. Is it a high-flying career, a balanced work-family life, or something else? Knowing your goals can help you make informed decisions.
2. Seek Mentorship: Connect with women who've been there and done that. Their insights can provide clarity and guidance as you navigate your career journey.
3. Set Boundaries: It's okay to say no. Whether it's declining an invitation to a family event because of work commitments or vice versa, remember that you have the autonomy to make choices that align with your priorities.
4. Celebrate Your Choices: Every decision you make, whether it's to take a career break, pursue higher studies, or climb the corporate ladder, is valid. Celebrate your choices and the journey they entail.
Actionable Advice for Young Women
1. Educate & Communicate: Engage in open conversations with family and friends about your aspirations and choices. Sometimes, resistance stems from a lack of understanding.
2. Join Supportive Communities: Surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Communities like 2B Bolder offer a platform for women to share, learn, and grow together.
3. Invest in Personal Development: Attend workshops, read books, or take courses that empower you to be confident in your choices.
4. Seek Counseling: If you're feeling particularly overwhelmed, consider seeking counseling or therapy. A professional can provide tools and strategies to cope with societal pressures.
5. Remember Your Worth: You are more than the roles society assigns to you. Embrace your multifaceted identity and remember that your worth isn't determined by societal expectations.
In conclusion, while societal and cultural expectations can be daunting, remember that you have the power to define your path. At 2B Bolder, we're here to support, inspire, and empower you every step of the way. Together, we can redefine success and pave the way for future generations of bold women.
Stay Bold, Mary Killelea, Founder, 2B Bolder 🚀 If you're looking for more inspiration, listen to one of the many podcast interviews with INCREDIBLE women sharing their career stories and unique perspectives on how they define success and have overcome challenges unique to women. Read profiles of our featured women in business and in tech who share their career insights and advice. Sign up for the 2B Bolder newsletter & stay connected, and see what's new.