Elements of Women in Leadership Roles

I wonder if there is a way to talk about being a woman in a male dominated field or an ethnic minority in an organization that is not very diverse, without receiving a negative, defensive reaction?  Have we evolved enough to have a conversation about what is prevalent without offending?  Whether we’re women or men, we have mindsets about women and men, and about careers in leadership.  Unexamined mindsets won’t close the gender gap at the top.

Yes, its true that women are generally groomed to be nurturing, caring and supportive and as tribes, we seek leaders who are risk-takers, aggressive, assertive, and confident.  How would an organization benefit by having a leader that is both confident and caring, assertive and nurturing?   Can women show all attributes of great leadership while remaining feminine?  Must we fold away our floral dresses and replace them with standard issue blue, grey and black suits to be taken seriously? No. I believe those who can turn those traits on and off – depending on the situation – can find great successes at executive leadership levels without masking their identities.


The Regrets of Domestic Violence

RIP Patricia Nieto January 17, 1984 – July 16, 2012

There are moments in our lives that seem to happen in slow motion.  The phone rings, I answer it.  I hear a struggle for words from the caller, and then the faint voice whispers, “Fernie killed Patty”.   Although I heard the words clearly, I asked, “What did you just say?” Again I hear the words, “Fernie killed Patty.  He  fucking killed her.”  In the hopes that “kill” could possibly mean anything other than my understanding of that word, I asked, “What do you mean he killed her?”

The reel kept rolling in slow motion.

I hung up the phone and sat with my head in my hands and gently wept.  My husband asking, “What’s going on?  What happened?” And I struggled to repeat the words that I’d just heard.  “My friend Patty, was just brutally murdered by her fiancé.”  The details are too gruesome to share.