Powerful Women, Powerful Words
November 30, 2010
Over at Dr. Isis's there's a discussion on Time's Time's 25 Most Powerful Women of the Century. No Sarah Palin is not on the list. My mind immediately went to Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi, which goes to show I read too much about business blogs since she's regularly features on lists such as these, 25 Most Powerful Women in Business.
Some of the entries on women in the 20th century I question as truly being "powerful" but I guess it depends on how you define your list. For instance, Mother Theresa is on there. I'm not sure I equate "powerful" with Mother Theresa. I'm also not sure what influence she's had on the world at large. Was she a great person? Sure. Did she do good things that changed that world? I don't know about that. She's no Rosa Parks there. But Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah or some of the makeup/clothing pioneers I can definitely see as being "powerful."
But skip over to Time's Q&A with their business women and you find something else. Most have their heads so far up in the biz-ness their answers are predictable. "What's your best decision ever?" "Duh, coming to work for this company and getting promoted." Doesn't matter whether you've been there two months or twenty years, if you don't say something nice about your current place of employment…better not bother saying anything nice at all.
One of the other questions they ask is "What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?" Most answer with some sort of "women aren't confident enough" blame the victim bullshit, or women just don't blah blah blah for themselves, or but it's so hard raising a family and being taken seriously, but that's probably my fault not society's. However, Joanna Maguire, an Executive Vice President at Lockheed Martin has the balls (see? it's always gotta be a pro-male analogy, even on a wanna-be feminist blog) to really nail down where the problem is:
"Cultural stereotypes continue to present significant challenges for women leaders. Stereotypes routinely cause men and women to underestimate and underutilize women's leadership talent. For example, when women leaders act in gender-consistent ways — cooperative and relationship-focused — they "fit in" as women, but are often perceived as soft leaders by both genders. When women act "like men" — authoritative or ambitious — they are often viewed as too tough and overly aggressive. As a result, successful women leaders must learn to effectively thread the needle and call on the leadership attributes of men and women when the time demands."
Now that I've outed her here as a radical feminist who thinks women are damned if they do and damned if they don't she'll probably get moved to Lockheed's Siberia location. But hopefully she'll slip by. I mean, Lockheed probably has thousands of executive VP's but it's nice to know there's one using their brain today.