Local businesswomen share experiences in the workplace
With the rise of the Ban Bossy campaign in the media, local businesswomen provide context of the difficulties of being a woman in business and their beliefs on whether the campaign will accomplish positive goals.
Gale Byrne, senior territory business manager for Johnson and Johnson division care said there is a higher standard that women have to hold themselves to in the business world compared to men.
“To be successful in business it is important for anyone to carry themselves with confidence and pride and strength,” Byrne said.
But, Byrne said, women need to pay attention to the way they carry themselves more than men.
“Even with all of the equality women have achieved in this country over the years, in the business environment… there is still an underlying sense of inequality in some companies,” Byrne said.
Brenda Linnick, Executive Director of United Way, pictured above, stressed that there is a difference between being bossy and being a leader.
“I really have not encountered the word bossy in the workplace, I have more often heard women called strong or driven. I would encourage a young woman to lead with respect,” Linnick said.
Byrne herself has always been the girl called bossy, and thinks society is to blame for bossy being continually used.
“The whole thing that girls are bossy, I think that’s a societal thing. It is the way that we are socialized…People that don’t know me would describe me as the bossy girl, but people who do know me would also describe me as the bossy girl. You have to let things like that slide off your back because…in this culture a man would be described as forthcoming and a go-getter, and that same woman would be described as domineering, overbearing, bossy and obnoxious. And its the same personality, but its a woman versus a man. My attitude is I don’t care, I get things done,” Byrne said.
Heather Kuntz, manager for Wooster Printing, said that trying to ban the word bossy will not accomplish anything positive. Kuntz said the word bossy has never bothered her, and she does not agree with the campaign to remove the word from being used.
“Experience, desire, and drive make our leaders who they are, the term bossy doesn’t and never has bothered me. By banning words that seem hurtful I feel we are not teaching our youth to rise above or be self assured in their goals, we further separate our young women from the rest of society- because it might hurt their feelings,” Kuntz said.
The campaign to ban bossy is giving the word unnecessary press.
“Ban the Bossy ban, toughen up, if you or your children are empowered to lead, the word bossy is just that, a word. We’ve already given it more press than deserved,” Kuntz said.
Instead, Kuntz said women should be focusing their energy on mentoring young girls to become leaders.