“She is good at her job, but she is just a little too aggressive”

Still trying to change  the world one step at a time.

Sheryl Sandberg’s recent initiative “Ban Bossy” made me think about how I had been often myself perceived as too aggressive, while thinking to myself that I was just trying to do my job. I remembered hearing various comments from my most respected female colleagues here along the lines of “I keep getting negative reviews, as I am too critical”, while marveling at how others that I found completely incompetent rewarded for “good social skills.” And not to forget the worst category of all – the really intelligent and competent ladies I found way too humble and undervalued by their bosses and the company as a whole. Those are the ones that  work long hours, do not get promoted and say that they don’t seek promotion but are happy to be doing a good job.

Since the failure of my first women empowerment initiative, the positive outcome was the the jargon “poderosa” (powerful) stuck around with the parties involved, in conversations, in e-mails, in internal jokes. It helped me keep the conversation alive but left me with the need to keep provoking change.

Yesterday, I decided to share this video, that talks about the stereotypes women face that keep them from leadership roles with some of my powerful lady colleagues – asking them: “Do you want to be bossy or do you want to become the boss?”.

It was really interesting to get back the emotional responses such as:

“My therapist told me to be more girly “Mulherziha”, so I dropped her, continuing to be  ‘bossy’!! “,

“Incredible! I’m feeling more relieved after watching this.”

I was rather surprised with these responses, and am now thinking of what to do next to build on this.

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