So notes a female GC in a New York Magazine piece, who also says that women still need to “have somebody—probably a man—who is willing to create some space for you.”
The mag’s reporter spoke to eight women on Wall Street, one of whom is a long-time in-house lawyer, currently a GC, who asked “Why is it still important for women to be likable? It’s certainly something women struggle with all the time. The fact is, people have to like you. It’s not fair. But you can either acknowledge that and accept it and work with it, or you won’t get promoted because people don’t like you.”
She says that she is “mindful” of a lot of things: “I’ll use words in my emails that undermine the assertiveness of my message. And I resent having to do it, but I know I have to do it: ‘Would you please, could you possibly, would it be OK if …'”
She commented that she felt that she had to be nice to everybody: “I’m not going to bring in cookies. I refuse to bring food, and I won’t make photocopies, but I do make the affirmative effort to be the nice person in the room, because I know that’s what’s expected of me as a woman.”
Finally, she says that “the glass ceiling absolutely still exists. At the end of the day, most men don’t really want women in the C-suite.”
Takeaway: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.