Original: Perspectives of a woman business leader
She recently led her Dallas firm, TM Advertising, through a complex process where the company ‘bought itself back’ from a holding company, resulting in an independent ad firm with a female CEO.
Becca Weigman proudly acknowledges what she pulled off is a relative rarity in the advertising industry. “It is very, very male-dominated," Weigman.
As a woman in charge in that kind of culture, she says, “It has been hard. I try not to think about it too much or to think of it like an albatross. And I try not to think of it as difficulty, but I have had moments when I am heated in a discussion and they will say ‘Don’t get dramatic.’ And it takes everything inside me to keep it together. You have to bite your tongue because your instinct is to get even more and you then become ‘hysterical’ and yeah, we don’t want that.”
She was recognized earlier this year as a true catalyst for innovation by an organization called She Runs It. While she was at the awards ceremony in New York, surrounded by other accomplished women, Weigman was struck by what she heard in some conversations, “One woman told me ‘I don’t belong here. These women are all badasses.’ I said, 'Honey, you are 30 years old and you just started a company. You’re a badass.' I think women are really hard on themselves and don’t give themselves credit. And another woman said, ‘I just haven’t lost my baby weight, and I don’t spend enough time with my kids, and I just feel like a hot mess.’ I said every woman in this room looked in the mirror this morning and said I am a hot mess. I said embrace the inner hot mess. We are all a hot mess. We are all badasses AND we are all a hot mess!”
Weigman’s wit and humor drove home the message. But she says much more is needed to truly changing the culture for the large numbers of women who are trying to rise through the corporate ranks, especially in the more male-dominated disciplines. She believes more women need to help each other. “Males are more apt to mentor women than females. Again, I think that is that perpetual worrying about yourself and getting caught up in your own internal angst that you are not focusing on others. And I think that is really difficult for women, and women really need consciously think to mentor other women.”
Weigman is being recognized by the Dallas Business Journal's 2017 Women in Business Awards.