I had the privilege to speak at a luncheon attended by the most prestigious women in International business and finance this week. I was also invited to speak about authentic leadership to groups of senior women at retail giant Asda in their Leeds and Lutterworth headquarters.
Up close and personal all of these women were impressive in what they have achieved but what impacted me even more was that the old stereotypes of ball breaker and queen bee, mother hen and siren were nowhere to be seen. Thank God at last we have moved away from these limiting negative stereotypes because believe me there was nothing good about them.
The major features of these women were:
- A focus on getting the business done
- A desire to share the limelight with others
- An absence of ego and arrogance
- A relaxed awareness of what they had achieved
We are now at the stage of seeing women as successful deliverers in business in their own right without recourse to the ‘pantomime dame’ images of yesteryear when to be a women at the top was a tough gig and so under threat they coped in any way possible. As senior women proliferate at work and in the boardroom they will act as role models for the young and all memories of balls or anything else being broken will be left far behind.