But it's not hard to find the opposite opinion, either. Women need to lean in, to learn leadership skills, to be tougher, to hang out at evening networking meetings, to play golf like the guys.
So are women getting in their own way, or is corporate policy preventing them from getting ahead?
I think the truth is in the middle. It's great for women to learn to be better negotiators, to develop new skills and talents, to fight for what they want, to learn to recognize their own value. I believe women need to stop criticizing other women's choices, and stop creating all-or-nothing expectations when it comes to career and family choices. I hope that we will stop blaming each other and ourselves for "choices" we make, especially when circumstances leave so many women with very few options at all. I would like to see women thinking both idealistically and practically. I hope women will fight for what they want and develop enough confidence to defend whatever their truth is.
But I also think our society could do so much more. Corporations need to move away from the ideal worker mindset, where the only dedicated worker is one who can work sixty hours a week whenever he or she is asked to do so. We need to drop the perception that mothers (fathers usually seem to escape this prejudice) are less capable workers. We need to encourage leadership, but that leadership needs to be of a generous kind. We need to trust ourselves and trust workers that they can get their work done without being tied to a supervisor's schedule. We also need to trust that a worker who cannot give as much time as another worker will give his or her best with the time that's available. Most of all, we need to encourage family-friendly policy, whether that policy comes from government or from business or, most effectively, from people themselves.
Why do you think there are so few women in leadership positions? What do you think could change this?