Welcome to episode 74 of my podcast, The Executive Edge, with Lesley Michaels.
Lesley regularly works with clients she coaches to help them make progress in their careers. We all struggle with something at some point in our lives. Perhaps it’s an issue of gender inequality, or a perceived ceiling we think is holding us back. In Lesley’s long career, she’s experienced many of these issues, and has a lot of solid advice and common sense, to offer.
What did we discuss?
We covered a lot of ground in the time we talked. This included that Lesley believes collaboration is the key to success and further promoting yourself, or your business.
She was one of the first women to move in to Executive management level of gas and oil. She experienced a range of issues and still feels women can be difficult with each other, if not positively obstructive. She’s adamant that this happens and it’s ugly for anyone on the receiving end. It’s as if a senior woman feels threatened or unhappy with the upcoming female. Instead, women in business can contribute so much both to business, and society.
She calls it ‘unevolved instinctual behaviour’ and it harkens back to tribal times when women had to fight each other for the privilege of giving birth to the alpha male of the tribe. This would have been an accolade at that time but seems to still drive behaviour now, in some women.
I was hoping we had progressed from this behaviour, and that aggression isn’t condoned in the workplace, and doesn’t work well. More Emotionally Intelligent attributes help us succeed in business and are more likely to be admired. Lesley has spotted women who take their ‘intellectual collateral’ and go self employed or in to different cultures and positively thrive. So, it’s clear that if we are unhappy, we either reach out, or walk away.
We also covered the glass ceiling and whether this is a perception in our lives or whether our real issue might be within. Mindset as we like to call it and skillset are different things and sometimes it can help to examine what you can influence, rather than what you feel you can’t.
She is also the author of an excellent book which you can buy on Amazon:
Lesley also hosts The Women We Should Know podcast.