Growing up, I think everyone had at least one favourite superhero, right? I, myself, grew up with a lot of male cousins, so there were always comic books lying around, Saturday morning superhero cartoons, and we watched it all. I was an X-Men girl, and I loved all things Storm. I still do, to some extent, and I think I channel that superhero energy and persona when I’m feeling particularly intimidated or anxious with anything at work.
You see, Storm, even being surrounded by the likes of Wolverine, Cyclops, and the other strong male personalities of the X-Men team, was a powerhouse in her own right. She has the foresight to remain cool in heated situations, the intelligence to devise complex plans and lead her team to victory when needed, and the power to manipulate and control the elements around her and her enemies. She’s strong, smart, beautiful, and let’s face it, she kicks major butt. She may not be a living, breathing example of a powerful business woman, but for me, she’s become a very tangible symbol of female empowerment within a male-dominated industry or team.
So when I’m in a meeting dominated by males who are speaking loudly and laughing at jokes, I think of how Storm’s voice can cut through the din in the calmest and most powerful manner, bringing the team back to focus while maintaining her aura of cool, collected control. When I’m walking into a business situation where my confidence is lacking or I don’t feel secure or superior, I walk like Storm, as if the winds follow at my heels the sun shines because I’ve told the clouds to stand at bay.
The fact is, while I stand firm behind my assertion that businesswomen must be capable, competent, and confident, the latter is not always a given. We’re human, after all, and sometimes that confidence wavers. So, why not channel your very own superhero and borrow that strength, that power, and that killer instinct, for the task at hand?
So, my superhero is Storm. Yours might be another comic book heroine, but it could very well be your mom, your sister, a celebrity, an old colleague, or your dearest friend. The best part is that in 2012, there is no shortage of positive examples for female business empowerment around us, so the list is long and the choice is ours.
I’m especially excited at the prospect of the generation of business women who’ll come after me; the little girls who won’t be restricted to one of a handful of super heroines on a team predominantly led by males. Maybe – just maybe – if I play my cards right, when it comes time for them to channel their own superhero example, they’ll choose me!