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June 6th, 2014 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Personal | Women's Issues

I spent the day with a room full of women. There was a sing-a-long. There was a lot of experience shared. There was so much to think about I’ve been struggling with it since I got on the train back from Toronto. Luckily I was given a copy of Katty Kay’s book The Confidence Code (affiliate link) to read and try to remember all the thought-provoking things she said. I also spent the day tweeting things that resonated with me so that I could look back and remember through the overwhelm.

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One of the most important things that struck me through the day was said in two different ways. Martha Stewart told us that she doesn’t lead differently because she’s a woman, she leads differently because she’s Martha. Katty Kay told us that while researching her book Womenomics she and her co-author discovered that Fortune 500 companies with women on their boards were doing better than those without. She said it’s important to remember that women should not try to be like men, because they we wouldn’t be bringing what only a woman can bring to the table.

Women spent a lot of time trying to gain respect by being more like men, but it doesn’t work. We should be ourselves, offer the best of ourselves and work hard. Be authentic. Women spend too much time thinking things over and too much time analyzing things after the fact, especially that one moment when we made a mistake. Men don’t do that. They move on. They speak up. Kay said confidence lies in that.

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The best lesson of all came from Martha Stewart. She told us that as a child her father had told her she could do anything. And she believed him. And then she did everything.

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What can a little encouragement – of myself and my daughter – lead to next?

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