Seize Your Seat At The Table

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Why are we explaining women’s right to be at the table at all? By Oscia Wilson (Founder, Boiled Architecture)

In discussions about women in business or women in positions of power, it’s easy to fall into explaining what women bring to the table.

People often say things like, “Women have better soft skills” or “Women are natural networkers because they are more social.” For instance, in this article on women in venture capital, the author interviews a woman who says, “Women have a sixth sense that can sometimes be useful when combined with analytical skills to assess startup team dynamics and personalities. Women may also work better on male-dominated boards to help balance views and perspectives.”

What is left unsaid in statements like this is that we are naming these traits in comparison to men. Why? Because men in powerful business positions is the default. Women in power are not the default.

I won’t get into whether or not it’s true that women are more social or more compassionate or more intuitive than men. Instead, I’ll say this: Why are we explaining women’s right to be at the table at all?

I don’t need to defend my right to be in a powerful position in business, and neither do you. The very fact that I seize that seat makes me eligible.

The fact that I founded a company that brings in money and employs three people earns me a spot at the table of CEOs.

To help create more empowered female entrepreneurs, I host an annual business retreat called the Women's Entrepreneurship Retreat on May 24-26, 2012 in the beautiful seaside resort of Asilomar. Pre-registration is open right now for early bird pricing. New attendees welcome starting October 25.

It’s a weekend where we invest in ourselves with focused, practical learning in a retreat format so we have the mental space to take it all in (and the supportive space where we don’t have to explain ourselves that is unique to a women’s retreat).

Won’t you join us?

Women 2.0 readers: Have you seized a seat at the table? Let us know in the comments!

About the guest blogger: Oscia Wilson is the founder of Boiled Architecture, an architecture firm in San Francisco that specializes in commercial projects and Integrated Project Delivery. She is a licensed architect in California, and sits on the AIA California Council’s committee on Integrated Project Delivery. She brings a no-nonsense approach to her work, believing that architects and builders should put their heads together to get the job done. Follow her on Twitter at @oscia_wilson.