All Hail the Strong Willed Woman

Why are strong willed women penalized for being strong individuals?

It’s an odd phenomenon really. Women that are less strong willed seem to be promoted into higher positions and are more highly regarded than their stronger willed colleagues. Strong willed women are sometimes called names or called out because they stand up for themselves; whereas their less strong willed counterparts are described with the adjectives nice, calm, or amiable because they often stay with the status quo. We almost respect the strong willed woman less for being…well herself. Strong willed women can most likely do things for themselves and do not need to rely on others. They also do not require anyone else’s help to complete tasks or even stand up for them.

Strong willed men are revered in business and in life, but their female counterparts are less so. It’s not even a man’s world or gender inequality that the strong willed woman is in opposition with; it is likely the competition with her peers that is the most difficult to overcome.

The strong willed woman has a couple choices to make in her career. She can either pretend not to be as strong willed or she can be completely and authentically herself. Both choices come with consequences.  

I have been both types of women at differing points in my life and the choice to be one rather than the other is not an easy choice made. I can say with all certainty that being authentic is probably the better choice, but everyone has to decide for themselves.  

~Jennifer Ward

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