The Ginger Rogers Syndrome is Alive and Well

The Ginger Rogers Syndrome is Alive and Well

For those of you who are pop-culture enthusiasts or from my generation, you’re probably aware of who Ginger Rogers was. For everyone else, here’s a piece of history.

Ginger Rogers was an American actor, dancer and singer famous in the late 1930s. She was well-known as the dance partner of Fred Astaire, who was also an actor, dancer, singer and choreographer. While both were highly skilled at their craft, Ginger Rodgers never got the same praise and recognition for her dancing abilities, even though she did everything Astaire did but backward and in high heels.


I use the term “Ginger Rogers Syndrome” as a way to highlight that here we are 80 years later and we’re still facing the same predicament – women have to work harder and accomplish more than men while getting less recognition and especially less pay. There is an underlying double standard. Women are criticized when they act the same way their male counterparts do. The bar is held higher for a woman. The standard of approval for a woman is gray. What does it take for a woman to gain equal recognition for her accomplishments? What would it have taken for Ginger Rogers to gain equal recognition of Fred Astaire?

We definitely have made some progress. Women are slowly making their mark in corporate, professional and political arenas. If we look at what accomplished did to get to where they are, we see 3 strategies. These strategies are part of what we talk about in the Business Rescue Coaching Secrets of 6-Figure Women and Master Female Leadership workshops.


Strategy # 1 -Let go of the Edge

What are you holding onto that is limiting your potential? Women need to let go of where they are to get where they want to go. Holding onto the edge of your comfort zone limits your growth, opportunity and success. What are you holding onto to? Is it a relationship that you have been in for a while, which no longer serves you? Is it the security of the job or company you are currently in?  Or maybe your edge is the goals you set that don’t stretch your potential. You’ve lived on the ledge long enough. It’s time to let go. Take time to reflect on what you are holding onto that is preventing you to be successful. Trust that when you let go, you can and will land on your feet at a better place for your career or business.

Strategy # 2 – Get in the “game”

Within our culture, successful people play the game called “winning”. They love to win more than they hate to lose. Setbacks don’t deter successful people because they know if they stay persistent, they will win. Many women are afraid of or try to avoid failure, so they play the game of “not losing”. When you’re focused on not losing you stay where it is comfortable or convenient. So, get in the game by seeing the excitement in winning. Do the work it takes to win, no matter what. Become an unabashed self-promoter and let others know how great you are. Keep your purpose close to your heart and make this the driving factor of the win. You’ll always find excuses why you shouldn’t play to win. Make winning about helping more people and making a positive impact on the lives of others, while getting well paid for it. This will help you see that losing is just a stepping stone to winning!

Strategy # 3 – Speak up

Men ask for what they want; women assume that others will know what they want. For example, if a woman is a hard worker who achieves and exceeds her goals, she assumes that she will be acknowledged through promotions and pay increases. Unfortunately, business doesn’t always work this way. You must ask for money, position and power. Men ask for more than they want or deserve. They speak up for themselves and make their position very clear. They may not get everything they ask for, but usually get more than they expected, so why shouldn’t you?

For all the hard work Ginger Rogers devoted to her craft, she never got the true recognition she deserved. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s time for you to be seen and appreciated for what you do at work or in your business – both publicly and especially financially.


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