Whats with the Cutesy Names?

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

I enjoy some motivational quotes (not all). I’ve noticed the appearance of female-themed “boss” paraphernalia in stores that sell that kind of thing. Most of it is pink, which is not a color in my palette. Aside from the color issue, the sayings made me uneasy in a way I couldn’t quite put my finger on. And then I read this post on LinkedIn that put into words what I was struggling to.

“I’m not a boss babe. I’m not a girl boss. I’m not a “She”EO. I’m not a mom-preneur. I’m the CEO and co-founder of a successful, fast-growing SaaS company and have the honor of leading an incredible team of talented humans.
…And I am a woman.
Can we stop with the cutesy names for women leaders? It doesn’t lift us up or help shatter any glass ceilings. Quite the contrary, actually.
Recognizing and encouraging diversity (not just women) in leadership? ABSOLUTELY.
Using cute names for the people in those roles? Let’s be done with that.”

(Credit to Lindsay Tjepkema, who I do not know, but whose post I saw because she’s a connection of a connection.)

I LOVE this summary. It’s part of what I have felt but not been able to articulate clearly. To have to qualify the title of “boss” or “owner” or “CEO” by gender or any other qualifying term is insulting.

We humans don’t do a good job yet collectively at selecting qualified people for roles based on their qualifications alone. We have a lot of unconscious bias and plain old ignorance to work through still. So I’m not suggesting we pretend not to notice or care about diversity of all kinds in leadership, Boards, and elected positions. Far from it.

What I am suggesting, along with Ms. Tjepkema, is that we stop adding these “feminine touches” to our titles. We’ve worked for our titles, for our degrees, for our qualifications, and for our positions. Honor the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into our achievements. But do it without changing the title to reflect my gender. Please.

More to Explorer

Organic Interactions are out, Leadquine, Leadership, Communication

Organic Interactions Are Out

We’ve been unable to interact on a daily basis with anyone other than those in our household for nearly a year now.

Seeing things from someone else's perspective

Give Me Those Binoculars

We’ve all heard it before. Some variation on seeing things from someone else’s perspective is part of our narrative from childhood—shifting your

Is Anyone Paying Attention?

My 14-year old spent the first semester doing school through a virtual program. This meant a whole lot of self-guided study. It

Join the Conversation

Get our FREE Resource Now

Top 5 Behaviors of a Coaching Leader

This PDF content is designed to make you think about your own behavior as a leader, and challenge you to identify opportunities to grow. Then it gives you practical ways to implement. We promise not to send you endless sales pitches