As a father, a world where men and women alike have equal shots at their dreams is what you would wish for your daughter more than anything. Raising a daughter is no easy task, given the many outdated expectations and stereotypes that are prevalent in our society. If you are a CEO, your role goes beyond being a dad; you become your daughter’s number one source of strength, motivation, and inspiration. Your dream is to see daddy’s little girl grow into a self-confident, resilient and strong woman, and more so in the world of business.
We all know that entrepreneurship is not as easy as people paint it to be. It is a hustle. A grind that requires serious aggression. With the right skills, attitude and hard work, you are bound to succeed. However, it is unfortunate that society is skewed some type of way, with an unfair bias towards women. This has an effect on how successful or not women entrepreneurs or leaders become. Times have changed though, but it will take some time before this prejudice is done away with completely. Inculcating the right values in our children at that very tender age where they have self-awareness will go a long way in changing the societal perception of males and females as unequal.
One of your roles as a CEO who happens to be a dad is to teach your daughter how to take on the pressures of the world. Having a daughter changes so much for you. So many things are brought to you into sharper focus. Your vague wishes for a better world cease to be just wishes; they transmute into acts of commitment. The boldest move as a dad is not only getting rid of sexism in the best way you can; rather, it is raising your girl into a woman who expects nothing but equality! It is teaching her what being a leader is all about, gender notwithstanding. In this enlightening read, we will have a look at some five things you can do to ensure that your daughter is the woman you want to be; resilient, aggressive, bold, confident, and successful at best. So, here are some tips on how to achieve this:
From time to time, express your confidence in her
You are a dad. Of course, you want your daughter to know that you are there for her no matter what. You want her to come to you with all her challenges and you want her to see that you can handle it all for her. There is absolutely nothing with that. However, if you want her to grow into a self-confident and resilient woman, it is advisable that from time to time, let her take care of her own issues. Let her even fail or get knocked down at times. Show her that she can do it! This not only boosts her confidence, but it also shows that you actually believe in her. Believe in her dreams and be supportive of whatever she sets out to do; of course with your guidance. This way, she will turn out to be an individual who knows the reality in life; it is not a smooth ride all the way. In times of challenges, she will have developed a thick skin to deal with whatever issues, thanks to you!
Do not shy away from exposing her to fields which are skewed as male-dominated
If you are a CEO in the world of Finance, Engineering or even construction, expose your daughter to this kind of environment. Expose her to areas that are perceived as male-dominated. If your office has a mix-up of genders, even better! This will be the perfect example that women can work literally anywhere, provided that is their personal preference. Whatever it takes, expose them to your world even if you feel it is more aligned to the male species. Who knows, she might excel at this even better than yourself.
Openly talk about sexism
Your very first instinct might be shielding your daughter from the ‘unpleasant’ topic; sexism. You might succeed at this for quite a long time, the question comes from her. At this point, you will have no option but give her sugar-coated answers, as opposed to just giving her the truth in the first place. It is better if you handled the topic quite early. If her teacher calls out to boys more than girls in class, teach her how to point this out respectfully. This way, she will learn to say no to unfair treatment just because of her gender.
Be egalitarian at home
In all honesty, you cannot possibly pass on a trait you lack. They say, always practice what you preach; otherwise do not ask anyone to drink from your cup, while you sip on one that has the complete opposite contents. So, if you want your daughter to demand equality in her world, you have to start by showing what a world of equality means right there at home. Several studies have shown that parents who share household chores demonstrate to their kids that certain roles do not have to be pegged to a particular gender. As a matter of fact, equal division of labor has quite an impact on girls ‘ambitions. In homes where both parents shared household duties, girls tend to go big on their career aspirations than in homes where this is not the case.
Create a platform for open dialogue
It is very unfortunate that society is cut out to undervalue women’s voices as well as opinions. Sometimes, it is so bad that they are silenced. If you create a platform where you have an open discussion about issues or important topics with your daughter, it will go a long way in teaching her that she is entitled to speak her mind. She will learn that her opinion is as valuable as anyone else’s. You can even give her an opportunity to come up with a topic of her own liking and put her points across in support of her motion in whatever way she deems suitable. If she veers off or says something socially unacceptable, correct her and guide her on how to go about expressing her opinion on controversial topics.
Many successful women who have been interviewed attribute their success to supporting fathers. Fathers who never gave up on them. Dads who had their back all through until their ideas matured or rather materialized into huge enterprises. As a CEO, leading by example in your daughter’s life is something that will see to it that she grows into a strong, resilient and successful woman. Your fatherly advice and wisdom will shape them into future leaders of tomorrow, in a world that will hopefully be free of gender balance.