Reminders of the ongoing battle for women who wish to achieve remarkable career success make me wonder why more women aren’t doing exactly that. According to author and Barnard College president Debora Spar, women today account for only 15.2 percent of the board members at Fortune 500 companies, 16 percent of partners at the largest law firms, and 19 percent of surgeons. Who knows? Maybe a smaller percentage of professional women wish to achieve that level of success, but it’s clearly still a struggle for those who do.
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Acting like one of the guys has traditionally been the path to promotion and success. For most women this unfortunately means leaving a huge part of themselves behind, including valuable traits such as compassion and empathy. I recall from my days in corporate that my female bosses constantly struggled between making choices from an emotional, compassionate place versus the logical, numbers-driven side of themselves. I’ve always argued that it’s not an either/or, but rather a combination of the masculine and feminine that makes a powerful leader. That’s why the bestseller, “Wonder Women: How Western Women Will Save the World,” by Jessica Eaves Mathews and Phil Dyer hit home for me.
Mathews and Dyer argue that women don’t have to be like men to have a fulfilling and successful career or to win in business. On a primal level, women are wired to desire cooperation and collaboration.
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