Thursday, May 15, 2008

The signals given by society and particularly by women, to other women who are striving to reach the top of their professions or build their own businesses can be confusing and dispiriting. News articles reporting that woman owned business fail at greater rates than male owned ones and they grow more slowly and stay smaller. Reports of significant numbers of women who have received advanced degrees and who are advancing quickly in their chosen field, withdrawing to stay home and raise children or move to a lower risk, lower reward career path. The news of Justine Henin’s retirement at twenty-five, while she is ranked the top women tennis player, got me thinking about this again. Having seen two of her French Open victories, her skill and mastery of the game was apparent even to a tennis neophyte and now she’s gone.

Perhaps in a few years I’ll feel different, but now I’m focused on my business, at times, almost to the exclusion of everything else. It bothers me to have other women pooh-pooh that effort and tell me that I should kick back and accept less because I have that option. Fortunately the women, to whom I’m closest, understand and are supportive, even if they would make different choices. One thing I would like is to feel the enthusiasm and even arrogance that I find at male dominated groups of entrepreneurs, among the women centric groups that I meet.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is much smaller than the usual top players and that puts her at a substantial mechanical disadvantage. To overcome that required a lot from her mind and body and she's worn out from that. A 6 foot player doesn't need to move her arm as fast to generate racket speed and doesn't have to move as far to reach a ball. Her accomplishments are remarkable but they took a toll.

12:36 AM  

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