Don’t get me wrong: I’m oh so very proud of the hordes of women who have gone before me. My female ancestor who sailed over in Mayflower times with Thomas Hinckley (she probably thought he was nuts for making her come). My mother-in-law, who taught me that if you need to use the restroom at a friend’s house, you should go home because you have been there long enough. Gloria Steinem. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Meryl Streep (God, I wish I could borrow her facial expressions for business meetings). So many fabulous women to celebrate, and I do it every day, twelve months a year.
So take your month back; all I want is a level playing field. If you don’t have a Men’s History Month, I don’t want a Women’s History Month (who negotiated for just one month?). I don’t need a lean-in or a leg-up. When I insert my “womanhood” into the equation, I’m just as guilty of tipping that level playing field. When it comes to business, gender (fluid as it is) is only valuable, in my non-humble opinion, if you can offer a consumer-based experience unique to your gender alone. (So I reserve the right to pitch Manolo Blahnik on how I think I could market his shoes; and if a male marketer wanted to pitch his experience with a jockstrap, I say go for it.)
Otherwise, in the world of business, I see no need to reinforce the sex divide. Take my gender off your table. Take race off the table. Take everything off except excellence in the product and services at stake. That’s the goal.
And now that I have that off my non-gender-specific chest, I can go back to spending the rest of this month (and year), focused on the quality of my business.