Many men know how to easily bait you and press your buttons in a way that causes you to take the bait, go off balance, become submissive or defensive. When that happens it becomes very difficult to remain a lady.
In the U.S. women occupy fewer than 15% of the seats on corporate boards, and only 2.6% of chief executive offices of Fortune 500 companies. In Europe, the numbers are even worse. But for women to really get ahead in the boardroom, we need a quota on how much time men spend helping out at home.
What solutions are working to increase numbers of women leading in corporations and how can those be amplified and accelerated? The World Economic Forum turned out to be the perfect place to begin a deep-dive inquiry.
If the Occupy movement is a fight for economic equality, it should be fighting for women to earn equal pay for equal work. Occupy says our biggest problem is the growing disparity in wealth. I say women have always faced this disparity.
Like many successful women I've met, Sandra Peterson, CEO of Bayer CropScience, describes herself as a leader who tries to "inspire an organization to achieve a higher purpose than just making sales and profitability targets."
Sandra Peterson, 52 and a New York City native, has an impressive resume showcasing her wealth of experience running product lines, businesses and entire divisions for the likes of Whirlpool, Nabisco, Merck-Medco and, finally, Bayer.
Rather than fighting the system, Mary decided to play their game. She went to a large acting agency and combed through hundreds of headshots of men. She was looking for the seasoned "corporate" type who might be able to play the role of president of her company.
You may be waiting for the "perfect" time to start your business, but the truth is, it probably doesn't exist. It will always be daunting. The economy might be crap. You're too young, too old or your children are too young or too old. You'll make it work.
I applaud all higher-ambition leaders. And maybe now that the concept has made it into the Harvard Business Review, women's natural style of understated and values-based leadership will gain more respect.
Golden Seeds makes investments in early stage high growth companies led by women. We want women to have more power and influence within companies -- and ownership in them -- with opportunities to make companies great places to work for women.