Women in a Man’s World

New York Times in April 2013, entitled “Women in a Man’s World,” female executives on Wall Street were interviewed and asked why so few women had made it to the senior ranks. In interview after interview, the female executives blamed themselves for not trying to change the status quo. One of the executives, Irene Dorner, the chief executive of HSBC USA, explained that throughout her career she had “kept her head down, focusing on her own career.” She acknowledged that she and the other female executives in the financial industry had not been very good role models and had not spoken out or complained about misogynistic comments and discriminatory practices. The executive women interviewed for the New York Times article were usually the only women at their levels in their companies. Having limited spaces at the top means that the few women who are there can’t change things alone, so the status quo can continue undisturbed. The junior women in a company may believe a senior woman is choosing not to do anything to help other women when the truth is that the senior woman may feel that her hands are tied. The pressure for lone women who make it to the top to keep their focus on proving themselves to the men, while not being perceived as threatening, is intense. An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/0982056982/).]]>

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