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Sisters are doin’ it to themselves

Maureen Jordan
Thursday, August 13, 2009

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Spare me a moment’s distraction from my usual literary references as I resort to Wikipedia, to define the word ‘confidence’. According to this internet source, confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.

Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself.

Arrogance or hubris, in comparison, is having unmerited confidence – believing something or someone is capable or correct when they are not.

Now, I am confident that if business people get exposure in the media, it is generally good for their business or profile. I confidently predict that the more exposure they get, the better it is for their business. If this weren’t true, then I’m at a loss to explain the proliferation of public relations companies peddling stories to my business on an endless basis. (But let’s save the subject of PR for another blog, and just say this burgeoning industry – which is full of women – has a lot to learn.)

OK, back to the point. My company for years has given exposure to businesses and high flyers via various media outlets – radio, newspapers, magazines and TV. Peter (Switzer) and I did a rough tally and we’ve given exposure to more than 10,000 businesses. Of those, our guests have mostly been men. In the last few years, we’ve seen a shift in the ratio of men and women who start and grow their own businesses. More and more women are opting out of corporate life and hanging out their shingle.

Returning to my hypothesis that exposure is good, I’m left continuously scratching my blonde locks as we hear women knocking back the opportunity to be on radio, and particularly TV. Here are the excuses:

  • “I’d like to wait a few months because I need to lose some weight.”
  • “If there’s no hair and makeup available then I can’t go on TV.”
  • “I feel nervous and wouldn’t be able to do it. My (male) partner said he’d do it though.”

We see men jump at exposure opportunities – and I am confident that it’s not a result of arrogance or hubris. They’re smart enough to know that these appearances have such value and they’re not going to let a few kilos or the stray hair stand in their way. They get in and have a go.

And yet, this parade of ‘sisters’ keep rejecting our offers.

At the end of the day, business credibility is not about having a few kilos on the hips, or having perfect make-up. It’s about building up a trustworthy brand that delivers – time after time. It’s about being true to your word, time after time. Image is important, but if you believe in yourself, then this shows through. When are women going to stop torturing themselves about image? The best bit of advice about being on radio or TV comes from the very album that houses that wonderful song, Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves, and it’s simply this: Be yourself tonight.

 

Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009


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