“I’m speaking”: How women can reclaim the conversation and speak our truth
“I’m speaking”… those words from Senator Kamala Harris packed a serious punch, resonating with so many women for all the wrong reasons.
How many more times will women be talked over, mansplained or ignored by a male colleague? We can probably all recall a time we have witnessed this same uncomfortable conversation play out in a boardroom but did that woman say “I’m speaking” like Kamala had the courage, grace and confidence to do? More often than not, she probably didn’t.
There is something truly unsettling about seeing this familiar conversation play out during a vice presidential debate between, what should be considered, two equal opponents.
Well, I’m speaking now and I want all women – and the men who support women – to remember this…. Stand Up, Step Up and Speak Up.
To truly stand up means to call out bad or toxic behaviour as soon as you see it. It takes courage to stand up. Believe in yourself, be authentic and take a stand against those who bully, chastise and treat people badly. Being courageous is tough, as I have no doubt when trying to stand up you will come across people who will try to push you down.
One small act of kindness, one small change in the way we listen or mentor other women, can make a real difference and have a significant impact on someone. When we step up to the conversation or situation, we are stepping up for the good of others. I am particularly passionate about women stepping up to create networks that foster connection and personal growth.
There are many reasons why women feel they cannot speak for themselves; some situations can be deeply personal and triggering. It’s up to the rest of us to speak up for them. When we see a women being talked over, say it – ”she’s speaking”; when we see a man explaining a concept because he believes a women could not understand it, say “stop mansplaining”; when you see a women wanting to make a point or statement and being ignored, say “let her speak”.
The world needs more female leaders for true diversity and balance, for the economy and for future growth. So believe me when I say…I’m speaking to you. Please stand up, step up and speak up to make the world a better place.