There is an ongoing debate regarding the way men and women are different. Obviously, there are the physical characteristics, but do men and women really have emotional or intellectual differences that skew by gender? I spent some time online to see if I could find any research that truly supports these claims. It’s fascinating but it was a challenge to find anything that wasn’t directly contradicted by another research report. So, I did what any woman would do. I listened to my own instincts. I feel like I’ve learned a thing or two over the years and believe that all traits can be found similarly in both genders. I know what you’re thinking. There is the whole “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” scenario, but I’ve met a lot of people and any characteristic that can be discussed can be found in both genders. When people talk about “men do this” or “women are better at that,” it always feels like an excuse. Some men are great communicators and some are not. Some women are amazing multi-taskers and some cannot. It’s individual not gender based. Right? I always love our September issue because our theme is “she means business.” But, the reality is that we focus on how much women are making a difference every month — and have for many, many years. It isn’t just the here and now, women have been in charge of their domains as long as I can remember. My grandma was as tough as nails, fiscally responsible managing funds for a business and her family, shrewd, compassionate, loving and kind. I would have dared anyone to say an unkind word about the City of Detroit in her presence. She would’ve debated you on the virtues and challenges of that great community and she would have won. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree because my mom is just as tenacious. In fact, I’m blessed that the feisty, tiny woman has always been in my corner. Whether you’re running a Fortune 500 company or raising a brood of small children in a small town, each woman is faced with challenges to overcome, days that are long and tiring, successes that are supremely sweet and opportunities to take risks with. Since every person’s idea of success is different, I believe most women are and have always been in charge of getting things done. I personally like to have a lot going on and generally do. But, if I were asked what makes me feel successful, it would have to be my focus on relationships. Spending time with the people who are important to me, including my female friends who definitely mean business. They inspire and refresh my world all the time. If you like to hang out with successful, inspiring women, I’ve got a couple of great options for you. First, you can share a beautiful day on the golf course (rain or shine) at the CAWLM Lady Classic on Thursday, Sept. 19 at Timber Ridge Golf Club sponsored by our friends at Independent Bank. This event is one-of-a-kind. We have a celebrity caddy auction for charity and also give our ladies an opportunity to network in the Nine and Out Room if 18 holes is just too much. Gather your friends — even those who haven’t played in years or ever — and sign your team up today by calling (517) 203-0123. The Greater Lansing Business Monthly is also hosting a Financial Expo sponsored by PNC to help community individuals — especially women — understand their financial futures more. This event will have speakers who talk about wealth management, investments, entrepreneurship, money management and so on. This is for anyone who wants to get a little more savvy with their funds. Who doesn’t want that? The event is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24 at the University Club. Check out glbmfinancialexpo.com for tickets and details. Speaking of learning a thing or two, it’s back to school time. Congrats to all the parents out there who survived the summer with their beautiful children, who were probably bored in the first week. Can you remember those days? I do. But, even in the dog days of summer when I was just a kid — I always meant business. I bet you did too.
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.