Women Gather To "No Drama" Warnings
An interesting thing happened last month. It is one of those things that I have been mulling over for a time now, twisting around the words to make sense of their meaning.
I went to a local networking event, which I typically loathe because they're usually a bunch of people thrusting sweaty business cards in hands of sweaty strangers while everyone stands around having a drink and a fake laugh. The one that I went to was surprising - because it was not only interesting, it was a diverse group of women in varied businesses from round the area who seemed to genuinely want to get to know one another.
There were several speakers who were thoughtful, emotional and incredibly professional in their delivery. I was already enjoying myself when we were told we could part from our tables and mingle. At the very end of the announcement, it came like a thief in the night robbing me for a moment of my awe.
"There are a lot of women in here, so you know, NO DRAMA!" said the announcer.
I found that to be terribly disappointing. There we were, a ballroom filled to the brim with a hundred of the area's greatest business women in various industries: real estate, publishing, production, hair care, fitness, banking, finance, law and many more. Before we had the chance to down our Pinot Grigio we were brought right back to high school.
Real Women Mean Business
As the owner of several businesses, I employ many women. In fact, I'm producing an unscripted reality program right now that is completely filled with women from production to cast. Being told that we need to steer clear of 'drama' is not fun, not funny, and it felt like we took a drastic step back in time. We can show up to work and not be in emotional turmoil, handle problems and issues directly and not melt at the first sign of a new female.
In the history of my working life, I have never been in a boardroom filled with men that an announcer would need to remind them, "There are a lot of men here tonight gentlemen. So, I warn you, NO DRAMA."
Why the warning? Can women not gather in groups free of the warning label that bad things happen to women who disagree, aka cause DRAMA? Why is it 'drama' if we are having a disagreement? If we sigh in frustration, why are we labeled as being dramatic? I know too many women in too many industries to throw the drama blanket out there so casually.
If we are going to not only get seats at the table, but buy the office the table sits in, we have to change our own thoughts about one another. We must be better to do better. To cheapen us every time we get together into middle school antics is insulting and wrong. We are perfectly capable of holding conversations and supporting each other while sipping a Chardonnay and not be chucked into some neon box with a fishnet bow. (Product of the 80's here, deal with it.)
I move for a drama ban of another kind. We don't need to say 'NO DRAMA' every time a room fills up with women. We need to stop thinking that is something that needs to be said or encouraged, entirely.
© 2017 Dayna Burnworth