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As a senior professional in financial services — an industry with comparatively few women in the executive ranks — I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about why there aren’t more women at the top-most levels of companies. I’ve read the studies and heard the theories that women don’t network welldon’t have the “vision thing”communicate too passivelydon’t ask for bigger jobs and the top clients; and have fewer sponsors who are willing to use political capital to advocate for them the way they do for their male colleagues. There’s a lot of agreement and repetition when talking about the problem. It’s when discussing solutions that things get quieter.

As a mother watching her 18-year old college freshman daughter contemplate her summer job options and future career, I want her to be exposed to success stories — not to what women lack or haven’t done or can’t do — because I know these successes exist and we need to share more of them. If young women everywhere went into the workforce steeped not only in the message that “you can’t have it all” and inundated not only with data on the lack of senior women, but armed instead with all the accumulated advice and wisdom of experienced women who have thrived in and enjoyed their careers, then they — and the organizations they’re joining — would be much better served. 

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Peter Westerman

 

Credit Union Times

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