The Bar doesn’t need to be lowered (I might just need a boost)

Call it a Glass Ceiling or a Sticky Floor, the fact is there remains an element of our culture that makes it tough to Lean In.  Am I right?

Alison Gianotto writes in her article “Backing Diversity Lowers the Bar?” ( July-August 2014 issue of SC Magazine), “The same characteristics encouraged in young men are often considered problematic in young women.”  It is a fact:  Confidence does not naturally breed success for most women.  It can, in fact, become a handicap as these women may be labeled as “bossy.”  But who is it that needs to change?  And how will we create that change?  Is there a tipping point for this in the near future? . . . in my daughers’ futures??

Throw whatever cute terms you want at the problem.  Tell us over and over again that the workforce would be better if it were more diverse.  The fact is, I have sat “at the table” and have discovered that sometimes the least accepting people in the room are my female colleagues.  And the people who championed my career the most were often men.

My point?  This is not a male – female thing.  It’s a matter of respect.  It’s a matter of listening.  It’s a matter of allowing for the fact that each of us can achieve the same goal in a different way.  It’s a matter of holding back our knee-jerk reactions to someone else’s delivery style and checking for our own understanding of the facts.

We live in challenging times.  If we all — each and every one of us, male and female – lean in to hear each other, I think we will be just fine.

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