Categorized | Blog

Fantastic blog by Deborah May, and gathering our stories of cultural resistance and scrutiny for female leaders

I just got the Advancing Women newsletter, and it contained a piece by the wonderful Deborah May that took my breath away. Of course, I know that effective and successful women are often moved, sidelined or cast aside for a male coworker. And I know from personal experience, and the stories of my peers and the sphinxx membership that stepping up into a serious leadership role as a woman guarantees you will be scrutinised, because there are so few women up in those ranks.
But the way she strung stories together reminded me a new that so many “one off” arbitrary events make up a wider pattern of cultural resistance. It’s so good I wanted to share it with you all (with complete credit to Deborah May). Here is the opening paragraph:

“I recently heard of a promotion round that effectively displaced five good women from the challenging positions they’d been acting in for several months.
They were all deemed ‘unsuitable’ and replaced primarily by blokes coming in from the outside.  This wasdespite great performance reviews while they were in the roles. 

A friend was recently asked to step down from the senior position she’d held for several years because she was no longer seen as a good ‘fit’ for the company.

This was despite the significant growth the business experienced while she was at the helm.

Yet another senior client led her part of the business through significant change and reform and was told by her CEO that despite impressive results, she needed to address her ‘style.’

Accepting a senior or high profile role is, for women, an act of courage.”

Deborah, I couldn’t agree more.

If you’ve faced similar situations, or think that masculine cultural resistance is impacting your advancement, let me know here. By gathering these stories we can make it easier for women to identify such behavior, and can commiserate and plan how to tackle such issues. 


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