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Hillary Clinton is playing the woman card, is she? What does that even mean? No one I asked can explain what the “woman card” is, let alone how she is using it. All I can surmise is it must hold some sort of power or otherwise be an advantage because it seems to be feared.

If women can play the woman card, do men play the man card? If you’re not Caucasian, can you play the race card? Do people who identify as LGTB have a sexual orientation card to play? And does Bernie Sanders get to play the senior card?

Let’s pause to note that no matter if we are old, young, white, black, woman, man or whatever—we each get a card. That levels the playing field.

You see where I am going with this. Talk of a woman card is nonsense. We are who we are and we attract people who feel a connection to what we stand for. It is utterly ridiculous to say a woman plays the woman card. But I get why it happens.

If women leadership were better defined, we wouldn’t have to feel bad about being women. Right now I am once again getting the sense that being a woman isn’t a good thing.

Shockingly, Hillary Clinton talks with confidence about women issues. Shall I dare say that out of all the current candidates she is the only one who can talk about women’s issues from firsthand experience? That seems reasonable. But wait. Now the other candidates are upset because a woman has an unfair advantage when it comes to women issues? Suddenly I feel lost.

It was about time somebody (other than me) acknowledge that women comprise 51% of the US population. We are the majority. Now, if we could only get women to support other women more, imagine how quickly we could move forward and level the playing field!

I am a gender decoder and trainer on balanced leadership and I try to do my part to achieve a 50%-50% balance, and I recently learned the hash tag for the 2016 International Woman’s Day on March 8th is #PledgeForParity. This is 2016, people. The challenge is daunting. Are you surprised this topic irks me so?

Time to look at the silver lining and find the positive. If others BELIEVE there IS a woman card, then how shall we play it?

The woman card SHOULD be played when men make decisions about women’s issues. Like birth control, child care, medical care for pregnancy, time off for new mothers, emergency time off for mothers with sick children, and education for women in sectors where women are underrepresented, like STEM and finance. The woman card should be WAVED WILDLY in front of the leader of any organization that wants to appeal to and sell to women. The woman card should be used to gain much more power and influence because, even though women are the majority, we still act like a minority.

We must also play the woman card when we hear a man to talk down to a woman. Stop averting your eyes in embarrassment. Lay that card down saying, “Hell no, you don’t get to talk to my sister like that!”

Women in power have to be qualified and likable. And we have to worry most about other women who want us to fail. Why would they want that? Because we seem to believe we all have to fight for the measly 2% of CEO positions and the pathetic 22% of C-Level positions allowed to be filled by women. If we shift our thinking to truly believing 50% of all leadership positions are available to women, we could relax and focus on the qualifications of the individuals in politics, in our organizations, and well beyond.

It’s this scarcity thinking that holds so many of us back. To the ladies out there, I ask you to promise that the injustice and double standards stop here right now. No more of this.

Whether or not you support Clinton, I hope all women can see the reason for saluting a very powerful, intelligent trailblazer who is crushing the boulders in her way with a Caterpillar. She’s showing us all how to play the woman card.

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If you enjoyed this post consider joining the LinkedIn group The Women’s Code or Creative Entrepreneur Forum.

At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”

 

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