Why is this book important? Because it comes at a time when women leaders all over the world are boldly asserting their right to pursue their dreams, whatever those dreams may be — whether it's their careers, their personal lives, who they want to be. It tells the stories of 11 amazing women, including myself, who refused to accept the outdated myths and biases that told them, "No, you can't do that." Guess what? They smashed right through those myths and became great successes. Aren't we glad.
Ready to smash some myths?
To give you a taste of the issues I discuss and then debunk in the book, I offer here a synopsis of the first few paragraphs from the Introduction. Enjoy, order your copy, join our Rethink Facebook group and don't forget to tag us when you review the book: #RethinkWomeninBusiness
Women are indeed moving up, but not far enough or fast enough
While some women have become billionaires, they are still a mini-minority. In 2018, there were 319 of them. That sounds impressive until you realize that 2,433 men were also billionaires in 2018. Unquestionably, these women set a standard for others to reach for, but much more remains to be done.
Along the same lines, Sheryl Sandberg’s "Lean In" was a push to increase the number of women CEOs in S&P 500 companies. But in 2017, the momentum she was championing came to a hard stop. Only 5.4 percent of CEOs in S&P 500 firms were women. Despite her urging women to “Lean In,” companies have not been willing to offer women leadership roles and senior management positions. In fact, according to LeanIn.org’s 2018 research, “Progress isn’t just slow — it’s stalled.”
Clearly, companies, especially big ones, do not seem to be opening the gates to women. In fact, many of the women who were on the brink of moving into senior C-suite positions jumped off the ladder because the obstacles were so overwhelming and their paths were often blocked by men who seemed to be deliberately trying to stop their progress.
Myths about women in business are perpetuated to keep them out of leadership roles
Most women are not socialized to be unapologetically competitive. They are seen as dependable rather than visionary. They also tend to be uncomfortable with self-promotion and are more likely to be criticized when they do grab the spotlight. Plus, men remain threatened by assertive women. No wonder so many women find it hard to find purpose and meaning in the positions they thought were important to pursue.
These gender biases are not confined to the business world. Women attorneys find that men often forget they are their colleagues and treat them more as support staff, or even secretaries who should bring them coffee. Women dentists complain that they still get men telling them they are taking a spot in dental school which a man should have.
And, there is the pay gap. Are we surprised that women still do not earn as much as men? In 2000, women earned 73 cents for every dollar a man earned. By 2016, the gender pay gap had shrunk to 80 cents per dollar, which is an improvement, but we still have a ways to go.
But, there is good news. A movement has started and is gaining speed
Day by day and gaining momentum, something profound is taking place as women in the workplace are moving into leadership positions. They are beginning to change the myths and norms that have kept them out. They are moving forward, taking on significant roles in smaller or middle-market companies, or as women entepreneurs, are starting their own businesses, achieving parity in a wide array of fields and professions. They are succeeding to push through the proverbial glass ceiling, opening doors to power and profits, but in very different ways than men. Bravo, I say to them. And keep going!
From Observation to Innovation,