Sunday, January 11, 2009

when women deter the progress of women

Have you ever been intimidated, bullied or otherwise thwarted by another woman--and surprised by it? That phenomenon is examined in an essay in today's New York Times, by Peggy Klaus, a leadership coach, who says:
...a pink elephant is lurking in the room, and we pretend it’s not there. For years, I have heard behind closed doors from women — young and old, up and down the ladder — that we can be our own worst enemies at work....while women have come a long way in removing workplace barriers, one of the last remaining obstacles is how they treat one another. Instead of helping to build one another’s careers, they sometimes derail them — for example, by limiting access to important meetings and committees; withholding information, assignments and promotions; or blocking the way to mentors and higher-ups.
And while the essay doesn't touch on speaking, per se, it reflects issues many of my clients note when thinking through the barriers they face in achieving their public speaking goals. I'm guessing they won't be surprised by this. What are your experiences?