Today's Little Pink Book explores leadership stereotypes:
Unfortunately, when such labels are applied, it can put women’s careers at risk.
“This doesn’t happen to every woman, but a greater percentage of women than men get stereotyped,” says Suzanna Bates, author of Discover Your CEO Brand.
“When this happens, the conversation becomes not how to promote them, but whether they can be ‘fixed.’” Research shows leadership is still seen as a predominantly masculine role, with women viewed as less qualified or natural in these positions.
The piece goes on with advice on how to "overcome" stereotypes:
Bates says female leaders are often labeled as “a bitch, too quiet or politically clueless.” Those in the first category may want to focus more on communicating and listening to employees’ ideas and thoughts.
"You can be results oriented and hold people accountable without leaving bodies in your wake,” she adds. More reserved leaders can take initiative to speak up and give ideas, even writing points down for a meeting beforehand.
We all, male and female, should be self-aware and able to modify our behavior when need be. Good colleagues use such feedback. However, this advice sounds suspiciously like "fixing" the woman's behavior, not correcting the stereotype!
I know the readers of this blog are smart and can help come up with real ways to combat stereotypes. Other than having a fairy godmother magically make the world free of gender-bias, what can be done? What sorts of small stuff would help on a daily basis? Let's find that low-hanging fruit and eat it!