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Pink Parcel / Ali Horsfall

PP Opinion: Can We All Be A #Girlboss?

How dull would it be if we all had the same feelings and thoughts on life’s hot topics? Here at Pink Parcel we truly embrace opinion and personal perspective – every point of view is valid after all.

Today, we’re discussing why the #girlboss movement is here to stay, the deeper thinking behind the hashtag, and what it means for these women…

“We need to share our achievements so we can inspire each other”

Hayley Warnes, Adrienne Herbert and AJ Odudu, founders of the creative networking collective, Get To Know, believe championing women online is the the way forward…

“To us the girl boss movement means endless possibilities, it means that it’s now become the norm to see badass women absolutely bossing it in their lives and careers. That normalisation and the fact that the #girlboss movement is so huge globally is super important as it really allows a whole new generation of women to be inspired whilst gaining wisdom and insight into what it takes to actually be a ‘girl boss’. We can debate the title and ask why we even need to use the word ‘girl’ instead of simply using the word boss (a valid point) but honestly, that’s all just semantics. The fact that the movement is happening and gathering steam in this incredible way, to us is the most important and valuable thing. Ladies, we’re crushing it!

“We also believe in collaboration and the ethos behind our collective is simple – that collaboration over competition is the key to long-term success. Collaboration in the form of support, a listening ear or shoulder to cry on at the end of a tough working week, shared contacts, shared knowledge, shared experience. Coming together to create or grow something bigger and better for everyone involved.

“The key to accessing this empowering girl boss mindset is to be introspective and self-aware – even if you struggle with confidence or don’t feel particularly successful. It’s not about comparing your success to anyone else’s but about celebrating all of your achievements no matter how big or small. Your journey is yours. Write down your goals and make sure that your actions match your ambition. Women are capable of achieving absolutely anything, but you have to accept that it is going to take a lot of hard work to succeed. It’s going to feel like climbing up a hill with no idea what’s at the top, but you’ll know that you did your best in the pursuit. That is something to be proud of, *that’s* empowering!

“We also believe it’s important for women to champion their achievements in the online space – the brilliant thing about social media is the unlimited global reach. Regardless of location, socioeconomic status or any other variable, women can now see representation in business and the workplace, which is huge. The fact that there are so many role models literally right there in front of us, across all industries, is such a monumental shift from how it was, say ten years ago when I bet we couldn’t name ten female founders / CEOs if we tried! Now we have women like Sophia Amoruso (Nasty Gal & Girlboss) and Emily Weiss (Glossier) just to name a couple, who are almost household names. Sharing our achievements online provides relatability and an insight that really helps others to see what can be achieved with the right application. I think that’s the coolest thing actually, that by sharing our own process, the highs *and* the lows (let’s keep it real, ladies!), we literally never know who we might inspire to begin their own #girlboss journey.”

“Make the girl boss dream your own”

Life coach and comparison expert, Lucy Sheridan, explains how women need to follow their own #girlboss vibe to find success…

“The girl boss movement expanded globally and quickly – what started as a book, then a rally, an online platform and then TV show, is now a mindset too. Charting back to when Sophia Amoruso first wrote the Girlboss book, I remember how very fresh it felt to have a woman in the digital age writing from her perspective. It was rich and vibrant and wasn’t just another old, white guy talking about business.

“The movement is now a gateway drug for women looking to go self-employed or strengthen their relationship with their work life, and it’s undoubtedly amazing. However, in the next wave of the movement, we do need to be careful that #girlboss aspirations influenced and fueled by social media, aren’t giving us anxiety or becoming cliquey. Sometimes, certain types of women may be celebrated over others and although this was never the intention, it can all become a bit of a popularity contest. Does being a #girlboss matter if you haven’t got loads of Instagram followers? Well sure it does, but that maybe invites us to put our focus on the metrics of what it is to be a #girlboss rather than tapping into the feeling.

“We all want to earn a good income and we want to have great online platforms and networking communities that lift us up so we can lift up others too, but I think if you’re not following your own path, or you’re lacking in confidence, girl bosses may make you feel inadequate or a bit of an outsider – just like any movement can. You may find yourself asking ‘how do I even start to make that my life?’

“You’ll never-ever hear me criticising participation in the girl boss movement, I think it’s truly brilliant that it even exists, it’s just sometimes we have to keep a check on how exposure to success makes us feel and watch out for negative triggers within ourselves. For some people it’ll make them feel like they’re not good enough and that they’ll never be a girl boss, but for others it will give them the incentive to try – which is just so powerful.

“It’s about working out what it means for you and how to make it accessible for you. Instead of looking at other women’s work life or business and thinking ‘I’ll never be able to do that’, let’s start viewing these case studies almost like a walking Pinterest board – bearing in mind that often what we’re seeing can be a filtered version of the truth. Also, if someone else is doing a job that you want to do, the question to ask is how do you close the gap between that life and yours – to get from where you are now to where you want to be.

“Also, if you’re comparing yourself or you’re having a confidence wobble because of the girl boss movement, check first that it really is your own dream and you’re not just borrowing someone else’s dream – if you find yourself feeling insecure because someone’s opened an amazing shop, but you’ve actually got no interest in opening a shop, then it’s a massive waste of your energy. Just because something is prevalent or dominating it might not be your path. What’s great about the girl boss movement is that it’s not just for launching a business either, you tap in to climb the ladder and make a difference from the inside out. Just because you’re salaried it doesn’t mean that you can’t boss it – it’s a mindset.

“My advice is to make sure you don’t stay swimming in the concept stage or hang out in the comments section online, but you’re taking action for yourself and it’s not just academic theory or a nice idea. Make sure you’re asking yourself every week, ‘what’s my next right move?’ You’ve got to translate the hashtag into the real world.”

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