Every once in a while, when you listen, you hear the thundering roarof women standing in their authentic power, bringing their whole self to work, demanding that they are paid what they are worth, working together to leverage each person’s strengths, and enjoying every single minute of it.
I call this a human organization. I also call it the US Women’s Soccer team.
The deafening roar of the crowds at the World Cup tournament and the paradein NYC yesterday give power to women of all ages in owning their value, worth, and humanity.
Let’s first talk about equal pay. Throughout the World Cup tournament and even the ticker tape parade in NYC, there were chants of “Equal Pay.” We can have discussions on equal pay at conferences, in government offices, and the corporate boardroom but when you suddenly have an entire soccer stadium and crowds in NYC chanting it, the issue gains the momentum it needs. As a note, the team’s twenty-eight players suedUS Soccer earlier this year, accusing the organization of institutionalized gender discrimination.
Second, let’s talk about women breaking stereotypes. The US Woman’s team stood in their power, celebrated their successes, and owned their victories. They did not play the quiet, shy female appreciating their win. They did not have calm confidence. They had a blow your socks off sense of joy, confidence, and power that electrified both the team and the crowds. This confidence drove them to victory and the crowds along with them each moment. Isn’t this what we want in organizations? To have so much joy and confidence that it is infectious throughout the culture and employees.
Many accused the women of being arrogant. Women with hubris are not seen in a positive light in business. However, when you watched Megan Rapione during the World Cup, you know she was leading with justifiable and infectious confidence and power. Where is the line between arrogance and confidence? Why should the line be different between men and women at work?
Lastly, what I so appreciated about watching the speech Megan Rapoine gave was how she did not take up the spotlight herself. She embraced her entire team, their value, and their diversity. “We’re chillin’. We’ve got tea sippin’. We’ve got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We’ve got white girls and black girls, and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls.” Shemade it clear that victory is due to the diversity of the team, not in spite of diversity.
I challenge all women who feel that they cannot bring their authentic self to work to take a look at the US Women’s Soccer team this week. Be yourself. Own your worth, brilliance, and strengths. Take up the space you deserve and celebrate with a sense of power, confidence, and humility.
To win in the market, organizations must treat women as equals, pay them as equals, and allow them to bring their authentic self to work. Women who are confident and excellent at what they do can transform an organization. The US Women’s National team showed the world lessons on resilience, confidence, and success that goes well beyond the world of soccer.
The US Women’s Soccer team demonstrated, with fiery and might, a human organization.