We’ve all seen what we think an empowered woman is. She walks down the street or into a meeting, head held high, shoulders back, with a confidence in her walk that we often envy. She just seems to know herself. Nothing seems to shake her.
Others remark about her strength and self-confidence but if you really think about it, what does she have that we admire? What is it that she does or has that makes us see her as an empowered woman who seems to have everything under control? The same way we want to have in our work, in our relationships and in ourselves?
Defined as ‘powerful, strong and in control’ empowerment is what we all strive for in some way. To be in control of our lives, to have the freedom to make choices we want to, to be able to go where we like and do what we like so we can live happy and productive lives.
Yet many things count against modern day women becoming empowered. Gender inequality is at the crux of the problem, and is rife in leadership, business, politics and all facets of life. But still we need to try and thrive and rise above the adversity we experience in any way we can. And many women do.
‘I raise up my voice—not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.
What makes a woman come across as empowered?
There are many indicators that a woman is empowered, with the following as key in my opinion
- A sense of self-confidence. She knows what she’s about, she knows what she wants, and she is doing what she can to achieve it.
- She has presence. She walks into a room and her body language, confident and upright, makes impact. People know when she’s arrived. She’ll shake everybody’s hand, looking at them straight in the eye with a warm smile on her face
- She is well presented – She takes pride in her appearance and dresses well and is well groomed. She dresses appropriately for any occasion and makes the effort to look the part
- She is approachable and personable – she smiles warmly, is encouraging and open and you can feel comfortable with her
- She holds her own in any situation or in front of any audience – in a room of 2 or audience of thousands, she can speak well publicly, clearly and in an articulate way and can get her message across concisely. No stumbles or ‘er’ and ‘um’ for her. She has prepared her information and speech and delivers it with punch