About four years ago I started getting a lot of unsolicited emails from women. My first book, Personality Not Included, had just come out and readers were emailing me with their own stories of how having a personality had made a difference in their own careers. While school often teaches us that we must remove our personality from “professional” communication – the truth is, faceless companies simply don’t work.
Forgettable people tend to have forgettable careers.
The thing I didn’t predict was just how popular this idea seemed to be among female entrepreneurs and business women. Nearly every email I received seemed to be from a female reader, sharing her story of personality in business. It inspired me to do a little more research. So I partnered with a few savvy women who were either former students or colleagues of mine – and started to do a bit more research.
And we started to hear plenty of amazing stories. These stories inspired the first edition of the “Women of Personality” ebook (see below to read the full ebook) – a collection of 20 stories from pioneering women in business and technology. Not long after, we compiled a second edition to feature another 20 women (40 in total). Through the experience, the most valuable thing I learned was just how much we men can do to support women in business. In my daily job, working at an organization that happened to be more than 50 percent female – there were a few ways that I started to realize any of us men might make a difference:
- Adopt a more collaborative mindset. Research in the upcoming book The Athena Doctrine points to a rise in the importance of qualities often associated with a female mindset, such as collaboration and empathy. The ability to succeed is increasingly tied to your ability to adopt these mindsets.
- Make micro-diversity a priority. Hiring diversity gets a lot of attention, but a more universal opportunity is to encourage more “micro-diversity” by including women on teams and committees, making sure panels at conferences have women invited, etc.
- Offer a platform. When you have a platform either through a personal brand or by being a leader – you always have ways to created platforms to feature successful women and give them a place to share their story.
Clearly, my attempt to curate the stories of 40 “women of personality” was based on this last suggestion … to offer a platform. Four years later, women in business have become more important — so much so that one of my 15 marketing trends of the year was titled “Powered by Women” and concluded with this same observation.
Today in celebration of International Women’s Day, I’d like to restart this project.
There will be a 3 edition of the Women of Personality book – but this time it will be released as an ebook through Amazon. It will feature a broader group of women from all corners of business, education, politics and entertainment – and I’d like your help.
Can you suggest female leader who may want to contribute?
Just share a name in a comment to this post – or send a private email to influentialmarketing [at] gmail [dot] com. I am excited to uncover the stories that will emerge from this new effort, and I’m asking for your help to find them. It may be a small thing, but like many others I believe the best way to inspire the next generation is to share these stories.
No matter whether you’re male or female, these stories are worth finding and celebrating. Especially today.