Me: "I work with executive women to help them become more impactful and inspiring leaders."
Them: "Oh - like women's empowerment"
Umm...no...in fact, nothing like that.
Every post or headline you read right now is about empowering women. I LOVE the concept - it's my very purpose and mission in life to help women find their voice, be visible, and present, so that can unlock their power and confidence.
I do NOT like the word "empower".
Let's look closely at the word.
empower, verb (used with object)
1. to give power or authority to; authorise especially by legal or official means:
I empowered my agent to make the deal for me. The local ordinance empowers the board of health to close unsanitary restaurants.
2. to enable or permit:
Wealth empowered him to live a comfortable life.
Can you see the problem I have with the word?
Let me help you out a bit more.
The most relevant synonyms for the word empower (verb: authorise, enable) in a search on thesaurus.com are:
allow, entitle, entrust, grant, legitimise, permit, vest.
Allow? Permit? The word implies that power must be given to women...by someone else...presumably men. What I know for certain from knowing myself, my mother, my grandmothers, my sister, my female relations, all my female friends, my clients, and numerous role models and inspiring women around the world, is that women have shedloads of power! It doesn't need to be GIVEN to us. We don't need to be ALLOWED to have it. In many cases, it is simply a question of harnessing it, embracing it, unlocking it. That's what I help women do.
The movement described as women's empowerment is actually about opening up ourselves (men AND women), and the systems we've created, to creativity, different thinking, new opportunities. It's about creating space for expansion.
I'm open to new names for this movement. In fact, maybe that's it. Here's to -
Do you want to expand the possibilities for yourself and harness your power and confidence? Hit reply and let's set up a call to find out what is possible for you. (It's much more than you ever imagined!)