"Defeat Is Not An Option" - Jennifer Huggins
I used to be so intimated by powerful women. When they entered a room, I felt small. If they were pretty, I felt smaller. Did this ever happen to you? Tell me I’m not the only one who secretly hated that perfectly hot chick who instantly captivated everyone with her charismatic personality and her never-ending resume of accomplishments?!
In this episode, I got the chance to talk about women rivalry and the art of negotiating with one powerful business chick: Jennifer Huggins. Jen is an entrepreneur, boxing coach, International Referee, a magician’s assistant, and the founder of Fight To End Cancer. This episode is all about helping you understand why female rivalry happens, how to avoid it and negotiating your way through anything you want. Let’s get to it!
One of her first jobs being a professional gogo dancer at age 15 in Toronto nightclubs, Jen knew that the bar life was only a stepping stone to propel her towards her entrepreneurship dream. It only took her five years to save enough money to buy her first business: Kingsway Boxing Club. Jen went on to open two gym locations, became an AIBA International 3 star boxing referee and judge. She is now the President of Boxing Ontario, a Keynote speaker on empowerment and business strategies and the Founder CEO of Fight to End Cancer.
Being involved in a men’s world at such a young age, Jen became a voice for females in sport, business, gender equality, negotiations and her community.
I’ve you ever asked yourself why you feel uncomfortable around other powerful women? I think before we explore that topic, it’s crucial to question where our thoughts and beliefs come from.
It took Jennifer (and me!) up to her 30’s to realize how inspired she was by these incredible women surrounding her and that being friends with them could be life-changing.
Jen explains: “I think society, especially our generation, made us feel like we had to compete with each other. So the first part of my life I use to think that I couldn’t be friends with that girl because she was my competition and the minute I’ll be friends with her, she’ll take me down or backstab me.”
Anyone else thought that?
Let me ask you, do you think other women are your competition or your allies? What do you believe to be true?
Jen goes on to explain that in any organization or industry, if only 10% of the people are female, then these chicks will stand out because of their gender. Not for the quality of their work or their athletic performance but because they are women. Why? Because since they are so few of them, they are the “anomaly”.
She continues to explain what happens when 20% of an organization is female: “Now your in competition with each other because 80% of men are watching you fight for that seat at the table. At that point, we are no longer competing with the rest of the men, but we are competing with each other, putting the other down every chance we get.”
She thinks an effective percentage to reduce woman rivalry in our society is having a ratio of 30% female in any group. Here’s why: when more women have a seat at the table, they tend to want to collaborate together and push each other up.
In the past, our society, the world of sports, business, politics only allowed a small percentage of women in influential positions. In 2018, only 4% of all sports showcased women competing on television. Fewer women opportunities equal more rivalry.
Instead of allowing this old conditioning to take over, we should focus on creating more opportunities for women in all aspects of our society and our personal lives. We have more chances to succeed when working together.
So girl, next time you get a seat at the table, make room for other gals too.
Arghhh, that word makes me cringe. Do you feel this way too? Anytime I face a situation when I need to negotiate, I either back down or get madly aggressive.
Jen mentions that negotiations are part of our daily lives. We might not notice it, but it takes place at work, in our relationships, even during a podcast interview.
She claims the first step before any negotiation takes place is identifying your objective. Then, you must enter the conversation by allowing your values and integrity to lead you. If you are aligned when those, the negotiation might still not be easy, but you will have the confidence that you’re doing the right thing.
During our conversation, she gave many negotiations tips. To find out what they are, listen to Episode 2
Want more untamed gals? Check out Episode 3 with Madison "Shark Girl" Stewart