On the need to pay more attention

Yesterday morning, I saw Sally Helgesen talk about her new book, “How Women Rise”.

I went with 2 ladies I work with who I thought might find it interesting. For me, I was hoping to better understand some challenges that many women face in rising to senior leadership roles, so I could think how I and the leaders I work with can help overcome them.

I’ve been to many of these talks. I love hearing core concepts directly from the author and asking questions.

Which I did yesterday.

And Sally did something no other author did.

Midway through answering, she noticed a frown on my face, stopped, and asked if she was actually answering my question.

I’ve worn that (unintentional) frown before when the speaker wasn’t addressing what I meant. None has ever acknowledged (or noticed?). They carried on with their answer, as though the answer was more important than the question.

But Sally noticed.

Rather poetically, the question was around the need for managers to pay attention to females who are less likely to highlight their own achievements.

Maybe a coincidence. Maybe.

Highly recommended not just for women, but for anyone concerned about how we create a more level playing field.

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On a side note, as someone who hates stereotypes, it was fascinating to see some of my own areas of weakness are “typically” female ones.

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