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5 Things We Need to Normalize for Women Leaders in Society

March 29, 20238 min read

Despite women wanting to make more money and hit larger goals, and be treated as equal among our male counterparts… there are still women out there playing small. There are still women out there judging other women. There are still women out there settling for less money than they deserve either in their career and their business. And there are still women carrying the emotional loads in their families and in their homes without demanding support.

Meet Ryann Dowdy:

Ryann Dowdy is sales expert, business strategy genius, and Founder of Be in the Room and The Connection Agency. She has a passion for connection, community, and helping business owners tap into their true power as leaders. Her mission is to put more money and power into the hands of women while creating a space for them to come together and experience a sense of empowerment and belonging they've never experienced before.

Normalize Women Breadwinners

The first thing that we need to normalize as a society is women breadwinners. The data's telling us that this is becoming more and more common. Back in 1960, I think it was maybe 3-4% of women were out earning their husbands. Today, 50% of women earn the same, if not more, than their spouses. That means that we are making huge headway. The education that we are getting, the way that we are growing up, the way that we are showing up in the world is being seen, heard, and recognized.

But it's still a conversation we need to continue to have because while yes, women are making more money - but what's also happening is the divorce rate of families where the woman out earn the man is higher than families who don't.

We've normalized this idea of making money, but we haven't normalized it being okay in our relationship. I believe that this has a lot of women afraid to be the breadwinner in fear of how it will impact their relationship. They fear what might happen outside of work if they continue to pursue themselves professionally. We need to normalize this idea of being the breadwinner - and the conversation as a whole for women leaders.

Normalize Giving Women Leaders Support

We were not meant to do life alone. Period. There is not a single successful woman out there who's kicking ass and taking names in her career or in her business who does not have some kind of support. Whether it's at home, through a partner, free or paid, doesn't matter - there is not a single successful woman that isn't getting some kind of support and nobody's talking about it.

So here we are on social media, scrolling through Instagram, watching women kick ass and take names and not hearing them tell the story of the number of people that participate in their ass kicking lifestyle.

It's well known that successful men have always had a support system. They've always had a wife at home taking care of them or doing things behind the scene, taking care of kids, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the home. But for some reason, as women, we're not as comfortable with the idea of that level of support.

We're not comfortable talking about the amount of support that we actually have or do not have. We're embarrassed to tell people we don't clean the house, pick up the kids, or cook the dinners.

My husband stays home with our kids. He is the primary support and the primary parent. He does most of the cooking and the day-to-day running of our households. We have somebody who comes in and cleans for us. We use a really amazing in-home grocery service.

This idea that I'm running two companies by myself - with no support - is crazy. The idea that I continue be the primary parent is also crazy. I want to normalize that conversation. If you want to be the primary parent, you want to do the cooking and cleaning because you enjoy it - that's a completely different conversation than because you think that you have to.

Just remember that NOT doing those things does not make you a bad mom, wife, or woman. We were not meant to do life alone - and you need we need help behind the scenes. Our male counterparts are definitely not doing it all without support - and we don' have to either. Let's normalize the conversation of not doing it all our own on our own.

Normalize Being Honest About Who You Are and What You Want

As a society, we have been prescribed a prescription for success.We have been told what to do and how to do it: go to college, graduate, get a degree, get a job, climb the ladder and do it until you die. (Which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my entire life.)

The idea of choosing a career at the age of 18 and doing it for all eternity is crazy. But, what happens is when we veer off of that path, the people in our life don't like it, don't understand it, and don't think it's safe. They don't like it when you take risks. They don't like it when you change career paths. They don't like it when you change your mind. And in fact, if you do change your mind, you're flaky, you're flighty. There's all sorts of things wrong with you because you can't just stay on one path.

Believe me, I know. This is my entire life. But it is okay to be who you are and want what you want. Period, end of story.

You want to climb the ladder, game on, do it.

You want to start a business and be wildly successful, do it.

You want to start a business that makes a couple hundred thousand dollars a year and take some pressure off your family, do it.

You want to start a business and build an empire, do it.

Let's just normalize wanting what we want and going after it despite the judgment of other people. Normalize the idea that you want what you want, it's okay to want it. It's okay to make it happen. It's okay to really truly embody that and be really confident in these are my desires.

Normalize Ambition

Normalize your ambition. Because remember, 60 years ago, only 3% of women were out earning their spouses. Women weren't supposed to be ambitious. They were supposed to stay home, have kids, and take care of their families. That's literally the success script for women 60 years ago. Which is completely different than it is today.

If you are an ambitious woman, you probably feel very alone in your ambition. Maybe you feel a little bit of guilt, you feel a little bit of shame because you think something is wrong with you because you're not okay with status quo - you're not okay with what you already have.

That was my personal experience when I woke up as the director of sales for a digital agency with a six figure salary, having just built my dream home and thinking like, God, this can't be it for me.

I felt so much guilt and shame in that moment because I didn't understand why could I not just be happy with what I had. I saw this as a bad thing for so long, but once I finally started embracing it - magic. I want to normalize embracing that ambition. If your desire is to be ambitious and you like working and you're good at working and it's an area in your life where you feel GOOD and you feel CONFIDENT and you feel STRONG - that is okay.

If you don't feel as good and as confident and strong at maybe being a mom or cooking... if you're not a Pinterest mom who's kids go to school on Valentine's Day with the perfectly made Valentine's box - that's okay.

We need to normalize that as women. It's okay if you're not a Pinterest mom, it's okay if you don't want to to be a Pinterest mom, and it's okay if you love working because you're good at what you do. Your ambition is okay.

Normalize Asking for More Money

This one is specifically for my women in jobs. I want you to hear this one. Ask for more money.

I promise you your male counterparts are. I promise you the company that you work for has it in their budget. And if they don't, somebody else will pay it to you.

I know that's hard to say because at the time of this recording, we're in a time in the world where we're told we're in a recession, but ask for more money. You are worth it.

There's a very specific story where I know two women who work for similar companies doing similar work at a similar level of production. One woman is making three what the other woman is making.

Why? Because one woman asked for more and they paid it her. She was a badass at her job. She was worth it. The other woman was also a badass at her job - but simply didn't ask.

Ask for more money every time you get an offer because I promise you, your male counterparts are doing it. And the company that you work for is counting on it. They have it budgeted. They have it planned for.

Can we please normalize asking for more money? Whether it's in your job, whether it's in your business, whether it's in a bonus, whether it's more time off - there's a million ways to do this. But can we please normalize being okay with asking for more? Thank you.

As ambitious women everywhere continue to break barriers, it's important that we support each other along the way. We are strong, capable and powerful and together, we will create lasting change. Surround yourself with women who are normalizing these conversations inside Be in the Room.

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Ryann Dowdy

Ryann Dowdy is a community builder and expert in sales. She's built multiple 7-figure businesses of her own - and helped hundreds of women successfully build the 6 and 7-figure businesses of their dreams. Women have been drawn to her programs not only for her incredible expertise, but also for the community and connection opportunities they find themselves missing in their everyday lives. Today, as founder of Be in the Room, Ryann's mission is to create a space for women to come together and be fearlessly themselves while empowering the next generation of female leaders.

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