Replacing Stepford with Step-Forward
Hot off the presses from the Harvard Business Review is a warning to stop following advice to be nice, pliable and pretty to get where we have always belonged – in place, in power, and in the money.
Here’s the heart of the article encouraging us to stop being Office Stepford Wives (with a grateful hat tip to the awesome Lauren Stiller Rikleen).
We argue for the new criteria that promotes not Stepford but step-forward leadership for women. We need to identify and promote the true leadership qualities that women can bring to the workplace.
This is currently being overshadowed by the Stepford “rules,” giving people false expectations of what women in the workplace should be. We need to write less about what we expect women to do or wear, and more about individual, interpersonal leadership approaches that work. Step-forward leaders have multiple attributes that defy gender stereotyping. When examining, reporting, or discussing successful women, the emphasis needs to shift away from identifying them only from a gendered perspective and look more at the positive qualities they bring to the workplace.
We Must Stop Judging One Another
Closing the wage and leadership gap requires bold women who are prepared to take and transform a little disapproval into enough power to advance their own interests as well as those of their sisters, daughters, nieces, and the girl-kids down the block.