Women bring unique strengths to decision-making. Decision-making is a tool to help women navigate their workplace and their everyday lives with greater success and impact. The decisions woman make daily could impact her personal, family, business and professional lives or the community she has chosen to serve. The decision-making process can be agonizing and hand-wringing, but it does uncover the hidden powers that exist in every woman. It takes courage and bravery to make or take those hard decisions.
Below are a couple of anecdotal examples of how decision-making found me.
We sat around the table at a Sales Managers Meeting; the Sales Director opened an account with the statement, “The best salespeople are single mothers with two children…” I wondered..why is that so…”
“THEY HAVE A BIGGER PURPOSE” …. that being their children. So, as I sat there in amazement and in a flash, I felt levels of disgust and utter disrespect that these men, in their desperate need to fast-track their professional careers, use the most precious thing in our lives, as a means, to that end.
You now realize that no matter what capabilities, abilities, or leadership skills you may possess and may have demonstrated day in and day out, would not even be recognized nor acknowledged and meant absolutely nothing because, in their view, that was not your purpose there. At that moment, in a split second, I made the conscious decision that I will never allow that to happen again in my personal or professional future. I will make sure that I am recognized and acknowledged for my hard work and efforts.
Fast forward a few years…
Attending a three-day-long leadership strategy session away from home. It has been a very long and exhausting first day. Dinner slowly draws to an end, and checking the time… 10 pm! The grandparents were taking care of the kids whilst I was away on business, and I had promised the kids I would check in and say good night before they were put to bed. As I prepared to make my departure for the evening, I was approached and asked, “why are you leaving so early”. The normal excuses of fatigue and needing to say good night to the kids, are met with this reply…” this is when the discussions are had, and decisions are made. If you want to stay in the “know”, you should stay” …… I ask myself the question…What decisions?
And as I glance over, they are, snug as little bugs, huddled together, that all elusive and exclusive boys club. And all in a flash, we go back to making those split-second decisions. Do you stay and become “one of the boys” and disappoint your kids, or do you remain true to who you are?
And honestly, there will never be competition; my children will come first, every time! As women, we will constantly be making decisions some consciously and others unconsciously. Decisions that may impact not only our professional lives but our personal lives too. So how do we better prepare our future generations of ladies who lead, to be more aware of these decision-making moments, and how to consciously make the best possible decision, whilst still staying true to who we are?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ms. Farah Ally is the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Chairperson | BMF Board Member | ESD Specialist by profession | CEO and founder of Fukula Consultants | Single mother of 2 boys