My sisters and I have advanced degrees and have been successful in the workforce. I did recognize the fact that I excelled and was promoted faster than my sisters. I also received more money in salary and bonuses during a similar period. Actually, my two older sisters were much smarter than me but I received greater accolades. My sisters would not be the only women who have not been recognized for their achievements. There are a host of reasons given:
· Waiting for the “right” promotional opportunity
· Being married and having children
· Needing the proper mentor
· Requiring more seasoning
The list is endless. There have been those women who have forsaken everything for the corporate requirements. If there was a requirement to travel, they traveled. If there was a requirement to hang out with the guys and drink, they drank. If there was the need to use crude talk and tell obscene jokes, they told them. Finally, if they needed to sleep with the boss, they did that as well. In the end, many women were swept to the side lines and told that they weren’t leadership material. It’s happened way too often.
Has that changed? Yes…and no. There are more female senior leaders than ever before. These women are talented and extremely capable. They are establishing themselves as role models and mentor for women that are following them. There are more forums for women in the marketplace and they are trying to raise the bar and change the conversation. The thought is that, given the opportunity, women provide a diverse set of ingredients that help to drive greater revenues, increased profits, and enhanced customer experiences. In addition, the “pay for performance” discussions are changing as well. Women are starting to be compensated at levels greater than ever before. But it can’t stop. It must continue. So that there are no distinctions between male and female contribution. But there are still women who are being put in compromising situation and told that they have to perform in a certain way or get passed over. This ancient way of thinking has to stop. Whenever it happens, women have to be willing to bring the injustices in to the light.
My mother would say, “Don’t accept mediocrity. If you do, you are giving up on yourself and your legacy of smart, brilliant women of the past.