“We call our little girls bossy. Go to a playground: Little girls get called ‘bossy’ all the time, a word that’s almost never used for boys. And that leads directly to the problems women face in the workforce. When a man does a good job, everyone says, ‘That’s great.’ When a woman does that same thing, she’ll get feedback that says things like, ‘Your results are good, but your peers just don’t like you as much’ or ‘maybe you were a little aggressive.’ “ —Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook
I was once pulled aside by one of my previous bosses and told, “You’re doing great and the numbers are looking wonderful but you need to place less demands on your employees. And I don’t like it when you disagree with me.” He would of never thought of saying the same things to my male predecessors and counterparts. Yet it was an important piece of advice he felt compelled to give me.
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I was reminded of Ms. Sandberg’s quote and of my personal experience when my I was recently reprimanding my daughter. She was in the back seat of the car recounting to her amigas how a boy in her class was being rude. She decided to correct and threaten him until he stopped. I immediately jumped into the conversation to reproach her for being mean to another child and bullying. Looking back on it, I wonder if that was the correct course of action.
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