Vision Statements and Codes of Conduct


Sample vision statement and code of conduct

Vision statement The women of [this organization] are a community of high-performing women who support each other to realize our own potential and the potential of our teams and to provide exceptional service to our clients. Code of conduct To realize our vision, we

• Surface our friendship rules—we talk about our expectations • Stay present and engaged with each other, even in the face of disappointment • Give each other feedback about the impact of our behaviors • Are trustworthy—we transknit, but we do not gossip • Maintain confidences when asked to do so or else say we cannot • Celebrate and acknowledge each other’s achievements • Compete for rewards and resources while affirming our relationships • Engage in meaningful disagreement and listen to each other • Challenge ideas, not people • Help each other feel heard in meetings • Self-disclose to the degree we are each comfortable • Are authentic—we share where we are directly to each other • Ask ourselves, “What else could be true?” when we feel judgmental of another woman

  An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (]]>

Next Steps for Dealing with Negative Stereotypes

  • Discounted or doubted yourself?
  • Apologized before presenting your ideas in a group or meeting, such as saying, “I may be wrong” or “This is probably a stupid question”?
  • Felt like an imposter or fraud when you got a promotion or opportunity?
  • Looked in the mirror and really disliked what you saw?
  • Tied your self-image to your appearance or clothes?
  • Level II—Have you ever
    • Said something negative about another woman and denied it when she asked?
    • Talked negatively about a woman behind her back and smiled to her face?
    • Made a commitment to support another woman and didn’t do it when the time came?
    • Said to someone, “She’s such a bitch”?
    • Made fun of another woman’s appearance behind her back?
    • Said or thought, “You can’t trust women”?
    • Spread a rumor that you had heard that cast doubt on another woman’s competence?
    • Seen another woman’s ideas attacked or ignored in a meeting, whether you agreed with them or not, while you sat back and watched in silence?
    Use the following scoring guide to reflect upon your answers:

    1–3 checks = You exhibit low internalization of negative stereotypes about women.

    4–6 checks = You exhibit moderate internalization of negative stereotypes about women.

    7+ checks = You exhibit strong internalization of negative stereotypes about women.

    2. Think about your vision for how you would like women to behave toward each other at work. Create a personal code of conduct for how you want to behave. Post it and look at it daily to remind yourself of how you want to be.   An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (]]>

    Career Sabotage – Part 3

    When I worked in the emergency department, I was in charge every night—and the people who worked with me enjoyed me being in charge, or at least that was what was said to me. I had beautiful reviews and had some great pals, many of whom were at my wedding. Fast-forward about five years, and I have now decided to leave my management position to go back to the emergency department. So I talked to the emergency department manager, who has been a friend of mine for twenty-five years. About three weeks into the process, when I hadn’t heard anything, I went back to my friend who was the manager of the emergency department and said, “So what’s going on?” She got this really awful look on her face and she twitched—and she was tripping all over herself and said, “You’d better talk to your boss.” So I sit down with my boss, who says to me, “There is a problem. They don’t want you there.” You could have knocked me over with a feather. She went on to say this one, this one, and this one—my friends, people who had been at my wedding—had gone to their bosses and said, “We don’t want her.” I was shocked. We would go out after work together; we would talk to each other on days off. Sometimes I would help them out with babysitting or they would help me. If I had any kind of a party or get-together, they were first on my list to invite. They were the people I laughed with at work; they were the people I cried with at work. They were there through my divorce, through a terribly tough time in my life. Why would my friends turn on me like that? That they would stab a friend in the back for no apparent reason for their own selfish gain? Well the bottom line was, they were afraid that I was going to usurp their perceived position. Keri’s story is an example of the impact of mixing friendship expectations with the hierarchical norms of masculine work environments, which can trigger horizontal violence. In such cases, acts of covert career aggression can leave the recipient feeling not only bewildered but shocked when it happens. Career aggression can also damage a woman’s self-confidence. Angella, a diplomatic services manager in Mexico, explained that “When someone is saying bad things about you, after a while you start to feel that maybe the bad things are true.”   An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (]]>

    Career Sabotage – Part 2

    This group of three women who had been there a long time, who were all friends, began to really try to sabotage me. They’d give me hate mail in my in-box. This was before e-mail. They would steal my mail and throw it away. They would put a key to the side of my car on both sides. They would talk about me incessantly to other people and say I wasn’t really very good. They would gossip about me to anybody and they’d tell stories about me, like I was sleeping with the boss, which wasn’t true, and they would just try to sabotage me. Kendra reported that she did not even know who was doing these things to her until considerable time had elapsed. The hate mail and property damage were upsetting, but stealing and destroying her mail had a negative impact on her ability to perform her job when she did not receive information or documents that others thought she had. Her reputation and credibility were also impugned. Once again, Kendra did not know these women. The key to this dynamic is in Kendra’s statement that the women “had been there a long time.” She went on to explain that she eventually learned that they did not feel valued and had not been promoted and that she had been hired in above them, even though they were more experienced and had equivalent levels of education—another setup for horizontal violence to be triggered.   An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (]]>

    Career Sabotage

    A new woman had started at the company, and I had been with the company for about two years. I had a very strong relationship with my boss and his boss, and we had been working together for a while. This new woman came in and felt threatened, I think, by the relationship that I had with my bosses and the team and probably with my peers as well. She falsely reported me to HR for having a romantic relationship with one of the bosses. I’d define that as sabotage. This story is an example of career sabotage, as opposed to simply indirect aggression, because the intention seemed to be to damage Tammy’s standing in the organization. Tammy described hearing at the “water cooler” that someone was circulating rumors about her. But she was surprised and very embarrassed to be called by the Human Resources Department (HR) and asked very probing questions about her personal life based on rumors started by a person as yet unidentified to Tammy. The tactics of the HR representatives indicated to Tammy that they believed the rumors and that her credibility had been damaged. While Tammy eventually found out who had circulated the rumors, she did not know the woman involved. In the absence of any type of relationship between Tammy and her saboteur, this story of career aggression represents a clear example of horizontal violence—oppressed group members taking their frustration out on other members of their group, in this case woman to woman. It couldn’t have been a personal vendetta when Tammy didn’t even know the other woman.   An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (]]>