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Why do women shy from the limelight?

Maureen Jordan
Thursday, July 09, 2009

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I've been in business over 20 years now and seen a lot of changes but one constant is that women have a tendency to keep themselves from the limelight. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but on so many occasions I see women declining opportunities for publicity. In numerous business awards, the line up of finalists is mostly male – if women are there, they are either with their partner or they're rather young. (This said, I do applaud what Telstra has done with its Women in Business award).

Why are women so shy?

We all know the phrase “the woman behind the man” but why is that the case still? In my age group, a lot of women applaud successful men but they have a go at women who have been successful (usually behind their back). Perhaps this justifies their own lack of achievement as they live off their husband’s earnings or through their children who they push constantly?

What’s wrong with being successful and talking about it to inspire others? When we did the Ms Entrepreneur multi-media project, we talked to so many young women who repeatedly asked, “Where are all the female role models in business?” A couple even said, “We don’t want Paris Hilton as our role model!”

And yet, we put forward female names to be interviewed on TV, in the newspapers or radio and when they’re contacted a lot of them say they’re too shy to be interviewed. That’s all very well, but isn’t it important to give other women inspiration so they can strive for success in business too?

Peter’s (Switzer) new TV show on Sky News Business Channel needs more women – so where are they? And if found, these women need to overcome their reluctance to tell it like it is, get out there and start balancing the business gene pool.

Published: Thursday, July 09, 2009

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