In a world full of business women working to break through glass ceilings and gender biases, why are we referring to each other as girlbosses? The #girlboss and #girlpower hashtags are everywhere. When we see a woman succeed, we instantly say she’s a #girlboss. But she’s not a girl; she’s a successful Woman!
Out of pure curiosity, I posed a question in a large women’s group and received an almost instant, overwhelming response across the country, spanning all industries. I only expected a handful of women to respond to my Facebook question, but the number of women that reacted was close to 1,000 within an hour. Not only did they respond to my question with their choice, but they also provided a ton of context. The question was simple. As a female, how do you prefer to be addressed?
There was a tremendous response to the girl option. Females ultimately did not want to be addressed as a girl and it was seen as an insult within the business arena.
Many females responded saying that they didn’t mind being referred to as a girl by their friends or someone close to them as long as the context was purely in a personal setting. But in business, no way! A few comments that stood out to me were:
“I’ve worked hard to become the woman I am today, I’m not a girl, I’m woman.”
“I hate being called a girl. I don’t live at home with my parents anymore, I’m not 12. I pay my own bills and make my own way. Don’t call me a girl.”
“I wish people would stop calling me a girlboss, why can’t I just be a boss?
So why do we keep using the term #girlboss? We’re women, we’re adults! We’ve earned our title to be seen as women and being a #girlboss is demeaning to our status. Sure, we can break through the ceiling while being referred to as a #girlboss, but why not take our seats at the table as ambitious women?! In fact, why even refer to gender at all?
The cultural norm of being called a girl in the workplace needs to be pulled from vernacular and our titles should be the same as men – just “boss.” I’ve seen and heard countless women make this point, but the overwhelming movement of the term “girlboss” isn’t helping our cause.
I’m not sure about you, but I don’t remember calling any man a #boyboss. In fact, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t take kindly to the term.
So, let’s Woman Up!