We can talk all we like about leaning in, leaning back, not leaning at all or any other concept that purports to understand why women aren’t better represented at senior levels in business.
Yes, motherhood and choices made because of that do have an impact. But there’s something else.
Could it be that some women do not have a seat at the table because they still act like they’re in high school?
During a very long career in business I’ve seen some women (and men) fail miserably. I’ve also seen women (and men) excel and not only get a seat at the table, but use it wisely.
The women who succeed at senior levels are not the women who take sides on matters they know nothing about.
These are not the women who fail to keep their word.
These are not the women who behave unethically in the corporate environment.
They are not the women who drag others into their petty little battles.
Women who win are those who are impeccable with their word.
Who keep agreements or if they must break them, do so ethically, always seeking a win-win and not trying to get one over on the other side.
Women who keep their own counsel and mind their own business.
THESE are the kinds of women that belong in the executive suite and at the head of businesses.
Some women simply cannot get past high school behavior and as a Baby Boomer feminist, this pisses me off .
Women are never going to be great role models–or get anywhere significant in life–if they act unprofessionally.
And I have certainly seen enough of this recently in business both large and small.
Yes, I’ve seen it.
Men in business are far from perfect. Yes, there are many men who behave unethically.
But their gender gives them a leg up. It’s an unfortunate truth, but a truth nonetheless: we’ve got to work harder and be even more impeccable with our standards.
Sometimes, we women can be our own worst enemies.