Shake My Hand - I Won't Break

By Susan Tomai, Founder

I shake hands with colleagues and clients in business every day - and I’m always surprised by how many people don’t do it properly.

I was raised by a father who was a Wall Street banker and a gentleman of the old school. He taught me from an early age to shake with a firm dry hand, with eye contact and confident body language.

Today I'm the founder and majority owner of a successful business, and many men still shake my hand as though I'm so brittle I might break. They avoid eye contact with me and sometimes ignore me altogether, directing their attention to my male business partner. Once they realize who I am,  they begin to give me the respect they would have given me had I been a tall man with a deep voice. Frequently this only happens when my supportive male partner points out that I started the business.

Sexism is alive well, folks. I challenge everyone to re-think their assumptions.