Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Leadership Ambition Gap

"If my generation was too naive, the generations that have followed may be too practical. We knew too little, and not girls know too much. Girls growing up today are not the first generation to have equal opportunity, but they are the first to know that opportunity does not necessarily translate into professional achievement."

"The pipeline that supplies the educated workforce is chock-full of women at the entry level, but by the time that same pipeline is filling leadership positions, it is overwhelmingly stocked with me . . . . one important contributor is the leadership ambition gap."

. . . .

"Gymboree once sold onesies proclaiming 'Smart like Daddy' for boys and 'Pretty like Mommy' for girls. That same year, J.C. Penny marketed a T-shirt for teenage girls that bragged, "I'm too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me." These things did not happen in 1951. They happened in 2011."

Sit at The Table

"If we want a world with greater equality, we need to acknowledge that women are less likely to keep their hands up. . . And women need to learn to keep their hands up, because when they lower them, even managers with the best intentions might not notice."

Success and Likeability

"Whenever possible, women should substitute 'we' for 'I.'A woman's request will be better received if she asserts, 'We had a great year,' as opposed to 'I had a great year.' . . . Men don't have to legitimize themselves for negotiations; they are expected to look out for themselves. Women, however, have to justify their requests. One way of doing this is to suggest that someone more senior encouraged the negotiation . . . or to cite industry standards. . . . Also, just being nice is not a winning strategy . . . This is why a woman needs to combine niceness with insistence, a style . . . [called] "relentlessly pleasant. . . . This method requires smiling frequently, expressing apprehension and concern, invoking common interests, emphasizing larger goals, and approaching the negotiation as solving a problem as opposed to taking a critical stance."

It's a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder

". . . only one criterion [matters] when picking a job - fast growth."

Are You My Mentor?

"If current trends continue, fifteen years from today, about one-third of the women in this audience [Harvard Business School, spring 2011] will be working full-time and almost all of you will be working for the guy you are sitting next to."

. . . .

"We need to stop telling [women] 'Get a mentor and you will excel.' Instead, we need to tell them, 'Excel and you will get a mentor."

Seek and Speak Your Truth

"effective communication starts with the understanding that there is my point of view (my truth) and someone else's point of view (his truth). . . Compare these two statements: 'You never take my suggestions seriously' and 'I feel frustrated that you have not responded to my last four e-mails, which leads me to believe that my suggestions are not important to you. Is that so?' . . . . reflecting someone else's viewpoint clarifies the disagreement and becomes a starting point for resolution. I now do this with my children. . . I love hearing my son explain to my daughter, 'I'm sorry you're upset because you lost Monopoly, but I'm older than you so I should win."

. . . .

"How can I do better? What am I doing that I don't know? What am i NOT doing that I don't see? These questions can lead to many benefits. And believe me, the truth hurts."

Don't Leave Before You Leave

"women who can afford to drop out of the workplace often receive not just permission but encouragement to do so from all directions."

Make Your Partner A Real Partner

"Even if mothers are more naturally inclined toward nurturing, fathers can match that skill with knowledge and effort. 'It's not about biology, but about consciousness.' . . . I have seen so many women inadvertently discourage their husbands from doing their share by being too controlling or critical. Social scientists call this 'maternal gatekeeping.' . . . Anyone who wants her mate to be a true partner must treat him as an equal - and equally capable - partner. . . A study found that wives who engage in gatekeeping behaviors do five more hours of family work per week than wives who take a more collaborative approach."

- Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg

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