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Flint president says 'mean girl' is a misnomer

FARGO - When Jodi Duncan joined the workforce, aggressive women were called the B-word. Now it's "mean girl," but she says that label is just as negative and damaging.

Jodi Duncan, president of Flint Communications, talks about the "mean girl" label at the March 22 Women Connect at the Avalon Events Center in Fargo. Meredith Holt / The Forum
Jodi Duncan, president of Flint Communications, talks about the "mean girl" label at the March 22 Women Connect at the Avalon Events Center in Fargo. Meredith Holt / The Forum

FARGO – When Jodi Duncan joined the workforce, aggressive women were called the B-word. Now it's "mean girl," but she says that label is just as negative and damaging.

Duncan, president of Flint Communications, addressed the topic of what it means to be a mean girl in her presentation "How to Embrace Being Dubbed a Mean Girl" for the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce's recent March Women Connect session at the Avalon Events Center.

She says "mean girl" is actually a misnomer for being blunt, not sharing personal info, disciplining employees, having an opinion, speaking up in meetings, arguing, not smiling enough, being decisive, being successful, not making small talk, being assertive and being confident.

Other highlights from her presentation, which included quotes, videos and a quiz:

It's up to us to think about how and why we use terms like the B-word and "mean girl," and start using different language to describe women.

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Women face different challenges in the workplace than men. For example, Duncan says one of the women who interviewed her for her job at Great Plains Software said she didn't smile enough. "Can you imaging saying a guy didn't smile enough in an interview?"

Develop your own "personal board of directors" who will love and support you every step of your career, and do the same for them.

At next month's Women Connect event, Tamara Anderson of Dale Carnegie will lead a panel discussion among four women from different generations who shattered gender barriers on their paths to success. The event will again be at the Avalon, 2525 9th Ave. S., from 3:30 to 5 p.m., with a social from 5 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 26.

Tickets for Women Connect cost $25 in advance, $35 at the door for chamber members; $45 in advance, $55 at the door for non-members. Register online at www.fmwfchamber.com or by calling (218) 233-1100.

Related Topics: EVENTS
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