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Challenge: WHO Are You?

The Struggles of The Business World as A Woman

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As much as the world continues to deny it, patriarchalism remains alive and well in the organization. This makes my day that much more difficult. I present good ideas in the boardroom, only to have these scoffed at. It’s tiring, demotivating, and my large component of female employees mostly feel the same way.

Why is it necessary to add these massive male egos to the equation for women to overcome? I often ask myself this question, but there is no sounding board that gives me acceptable answers. Most of the time, I simply second guess my abilities and decisions. Again, this causes a ‘less than’ response within me – which I absolutely know is unwarranted. But the environment continues to provoke self-doubt even in the face of many accomplishments.

Self-confidence issues addressed through training and counseling

Self-confidence issues are addressed by training for myself and my employees. Because it is a highly tech-driven organization and department, I am in charge of R&D – it is also subject to a lot of male inputs. Although there are many women under my management – the male component still makes up 2/3.

I just decided last year that I had enough of the egos, derision and snarky comments. I contacted Peter Peterka to give us a breakdown of what Six Sigma training would look like. His summary was that critical thinking and questioning would lead to clear answers. This sounded reasonable to me, but I knew the male staff members would laugh it off as women aren’t rational, are they?

The women got such a boost from the training. As it turns out, as tech experts, somehow, our rational thinking frequently exceeded that of our male counterparts. The boardroom is now quieter in terms of snarky comments. We’re more productive, and working better as a team, and the women’s confidence levels have soared.


Where personal counseling was a part of our department’s makeup to handle stress – it has now become a different animal. Counseling is now more of a place just to get rid of personal emotional issues to clear the air, rather than a place to boost the women’s self-esteem.

Innovation and creative work do well with emotion

Another important realization that I’ve come to over the past year is that women are far more creative than men in my department. Not sure if this is common in other organizations, and I really don’t care, but where we’re at – it makes a difference.

I’ve noticed how process improvements have mostly been improved by the women in my department. Typically, the men think of themselves as being more practical, and they really are at times – but when it comes to creative solutions, their skills are somewhat under par.

This is not a personal reflection on them as people – their egos just tend to override their own rational thinking at times. This leads to them coming up with ideas that are sometimes over the top. As women, even in a tech environment where logic is valued – we tend to take a people approach to solving problems. This approach is reflected in the creative solutions developed to improve our overall work and systems.

Without the emotion we put into our work, the solutions we come up with, would not be possible. And I love to say “I told you so”, because, in reality, our creative thinking is much better than that of the men in the office.

No – we are not women’s libbers or libtards or any other insults that the men want to throw at us in the work environment. We are and always have been valuable contributors. So good when male developed programs recognize and reinforce that.

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