On women, kindness and humor
I was on an airplane for a business trip recently and a woman sat down next to me. She said hello and we started talking about her daughter, her job, my job and then women in the business world in general.
She was clearly driven, successful and at the top of her chosen profession. And yet… and yet… the more we spoke, the more she started to reveal the layers of difficulty she faced in moving through the workforce. A female boss harassed her while pregnant and whispered, among other comments (while no one was around) “You are so fat! You better lose that weight fast if you want to survive here.” She then describing her current boss and CEO’s ability to calmly listen to difficult situations, discuss the root cause of problems and turn around her company in a single year. She described the drive for profitability and performance this boss expected, but more than that, she described the CEO’s kindness and generosity in developing employees and fostering their growth.
The stark contrast in “boss” styles struck me. I love competition. In fact, I thrive under pressure and deadlines. I am not afraid of confrontation or conflict. Even so, I firmly believe that in the midst of intense competition, it is vital that women managing other women do not verbally shred each other apart. I believe that there is room and a need for kindness and a good sense of humor, especially among women in the business world!
On blogs there are oh so glamorous photos showing the most beautiful, the most wonderful and perfect photos of every moment of every life. Life is messy. Here are a few snapshots of the less than perfect, but really great moments of the past few weeks:
I took a business call late in the evening, only to say, “CAN I PLEASE CALL YOU RIGHT BACK?” because of this… Fortunately, this person had a sense of humor. His daughter was simultaneously throwing a tantrum:
Ahh, yes.. This was an attempt at a New Year’s photo. I have shown this image to friends before, but I think it encompasses a valiant effort:
What to do with a hyper puppy while getting ready for work in the morning? Teach her to drink from the bathtub faucet? Bad parenting!
Have a great weekend! I’ll be back next week with some good eats!