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(Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images for The Girls' Lounge )


Calling women in business ‘girls’ is a compliment, not an insult, CEO argues

By WITW Staff on September 30, 2016

Referring to a powerful women in business as “girls” is no insult, according to Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient and founder of The Girls’ Lounge. In fact, Zalis argued in an article she wrote for Fortune, calling someone a “girl” is a compliment.

“For me, the word ‘girl,’ isn’t about the literal translation of the word, defined by age or life stage. It’s about a mindset,” wrote Zalis. “Courage and wonder; being a risk-taker and adventure-seeker; breaking the rules and — most importantly — supporting others are what make, in my eyes, a girl.”

Zalis said that the watershed moment for her on the term came when she attended her first technology conference — the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Intimidated by the thought of going to trade show surrounded by 150,000 “techie guys,” she invited a few of her girlfriends to come along. They invited their friends as well, and by the time group descended on the conference, wrote Zalis, they made up a pack of “50 women strong.”

Zalis said that the feeling of confidence given to her by being amongst her fellow women made an indelible mark on her. Thanks to that experience, and a conversation with film producer Lynda Obst about what it means to be a “girls’ girl,” wrote Zalis, she discovered a truth about female friendship that changed her perspective on leadership forever.

Read the full story at Fortune.


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