I have been thinking a lot about women in corporate America these days. Women comprised 47% of the workforce in 2010. Despite the growing number of women in the workforce, whenever I talk to friends or colleagues I hear the same theme. Women don’t support each other in the workplace.
Sheryl Sandberg recently wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal (Sept. 2015) where she discussed one of the main reasons more women weren’t in leadership roles. One of the key reasons is that women are often not mentored by senior organizational leaders, unlike their male counterparts. Without the peer support they need women often get trapped underneath the glass ceiling given more work and possibly even more responsibility, without the titles and pay raises.
For me this brings up the question, why aren’t women leaders mentoring other women? Shouldn’t women help women succeed and if they aren’t why not?
- Competitive Threat – another woman will be seen as more competent or better
- Collective Threat – the stereotyping of women that occurs will rub off on me
- Favoritism Threat – I will be seen as playing favorites for my gender (funny how men don’t fear this threat…)
I hope you are as infuriated as I am!
What all of this information tells me is that the current organizational system that we participate
in does not work for women. It prevents us from being able to use our talents and skills in order to achieve great things for our communities, the economy and our families. Women who succeed in this structure typically have to conform to a male constructed world where the pressure to push out other women in order to continue their own success is very strong. That type of negative environment sounds so draining.
We need a paradigm shift and fellow working moms I can feel it coming. Women are opting out of traditional workforce organizations and instead are creating their own vehicles for financial and personal growth.
Peace, Love & Empowering Each Other,