Letter to the Editor: Women Must Take Ownership of Their Success

Advantages’ July cover story offered an in-depth look at the challenges that women in the promo industry face in the workplace. Nikki Pett, founder of Sigma Promotions Inc., (asi/326727), sent this letter in response.

Dear Advantages Editor,

My blood was boiling as I read your recent article, “We Just Want an Even Playing Field,” but not for the reasons you may think.

I am sick and tired of women complaining about not having equal opportunity to men, especially in this industry that I have loved so much for the past 18 years.

There’s nothing I can’t stand more than someone who can’t take ownership for their own success and grab the bull by the horns. When you don’t take ownership, it’s so much easier to be a victim, isn’t it?

I’m not talking about actual traumatic events that people have gone through; I’m referencing the bitching about inequality that I read throughout the pages. And yes, I would say the same term if I were addressing men.

As someone who has been both sexually assaulted and physically assaulted I can’t tolerate people who whine that “people didn’t make eye contact at me during a meeting because I was female” and try to group real trauma with feeling overly sensitive and slighted by something so trivial.

I once had a client join my networking group for breakfast as a guest, and when I asked her what she thought, she said, “well there’s no doubt that the boys club is alive in well.” I never got that impression from the men around the table, but I’m also an equalist. I don’t consider myself “less than” anyone!

The extreme feminist movement has swung so far in the other direction that we are doing ourselves a serious disservice as a whole. I shudder to think of the long-term consequences!

We vote for women in politics based solely on her being a woman. What the hell? I want people hired because they’re the very best fit for the job! I also want to be hired because I’m the damned best at what I do. I had a potential elephant of an account offer to expedite me to the tender list because I was a “minority.” I refused and walked away insulted. Hire me because I can offer you the best service and solutions. What a concept!

What’s happened now is a completely uneven playing field. Men are afraid to sneeze in the wrong direction while women increasingly, and even publicly, dismiss and insult men who are too afraid to speak up for risk of retaliation. The double standards in business are unreal!

I belonged to a chamber board and one of the female board members showed up to a meeting with a “Pu***ies Rule” T-shirt. Everyone had a laugh, I wasn’t impressed and brought to her attention that if a man wore a similar shirt he would immediately be dismissed from the board and probably charged.

For those ultra-sensitive feminists (you know who you are… you’re insulted when someone refers to you as “ladies”), I wish you all the best. See, while you’re looking for reasons why you’re being held back, I’m working on empowering a team of women AND men to become leaders in the industry and dominate this field!

Start thinking of yourself as equal. Play with the boys and girls the same way. It’s amazing how far you’ll get ahead when you drop the hypersensitivity and behave like the playing field is yours!

You simply can’t be the damsel in distress AND the ultra-feminist when it suits you.

Oh, and in reference to the statistic about “Male owners pay themselves more than women owners,” umm… you own the company! Give yourself a raise! No one is holding you back but you!