I started my career as an academic anthropologist, then shifted my focus to banking and then healthcare. As a consultant or an executive, I quickly found that whether it was a staff meeting, a board meeting, or a client meeting, I was often the only woman in the room. When it was my turn to make a presentation, I watched with wonder as some of the men left to get coffee. When I shared my ideas, my insights or wisdom were often ignored.
I realized that my male colleagues weren’t going to change the prevailing culture and suddenly include a woman in "how we do things here." Things had to change if they were going to accept me, listen to me, follow me. But for the culture to change, I had to be the enabler of those changes. I had to help others feel comfortable letting me be part of their team as a highly competent, albeit female, teammate. As I stated in a recent Authority Magazine interview, which you can read here, here are the strategies that helped me do that. I wrote this article to help other women better choose the firms with which to work and create the right cultures for the future in which men and women work better together.