The current conversation on gender in leadership is at a standstill. Professionals and employers alike recognize there’s a problem, but can’t seem to move forward to a solution. Traditional leadership development addresses the problem by telling women to become more masculine and men to act less like jerks -- but that approach isn’t working.
The conversation on gender and leadership centers on the same advice. Women in leadership need to be less bossy and more confident, and men need to be more understanding. It’s been said over and over again, and yet, the balance between men and women in leadership isn’t getting any better.
We, Stacy and Thuy, were in a staff meeting in which the discussion around women in leadership came up as part of our suite of solutions. First, we were delighted to be having the conversation around women in leadership positions and how to continue to support them in their growth. Second, we were also frustrated that we had to even be in this conversation in the first place. That said, we accept that the world is the way it is and that we all have biases. What we found to be most interesting in our exploration of this topic as a team was how often the victims of workplace discrimination were also the perpetrators.