Do Women Really Need To Help Out Other Women? (from Cate Sevilla)

I was reading this very interesting blog post this morning. and I thought I share it with you here…

Conclusion: women, especially women in technology, business and politics, need role models. To be an example. Open the door and show the way. We don’t need babysitters or someone to tell us what to do, but women in business need a bit of support. Women in tech and every other male dominated industry to simply help each other. We absolutely need to take responsibility for our own careers, and to watch our own backs. Of course, of course, of course. We can’t expect other women to hand over every single contact they have, or to play soft just because we have matching chromosomes. Business doesn’t work like that. Business isn’t soft. But it would be nice if we could at least admit that we should be kinder to each other.

The article is from  Cate Sevilla on November 27, 2009  – Read it in full here

Last month I was invited to participate speak at a seminar for Oxford University’s Oxford Women In Politics group.

The seminar was titled “Are Women Their Worst Enemies”, and was sparked by my post right here on WITsend, called “Are Women In Tech Their Own Worst Enemies?”.
I have to admit sitting in front of 30 of the country’s best and brightest who make it their business to attend regular OXWIP meetings was a tad bit intimidating. Why? Well, for starters it was a small room. Secondly, I was going in to a discussion, guns blazing, on how women need to help each other out in business, to a group of fairly innocent University students who were, well, young enough to still be in University.
They weren’t technically in business. Fact of the matter is you can only have so much experience in University. Not to say that these women haven’t had to work with other women before, or have never experianced sexism, but as anyone who has gone to any sort of school knows – life outside school doors is different than life behind them.
So, there I was. With my bitchy website and my red lipstick ready to have a great discussion about with women who agreed with me that women in business (or politics, or tech, or feminism – take your pick) are their own worst enemy.
Like that whole Geek ‘n Rolla panel discussion, I failed tremendously in assuming that these women would agree with me. Instead, my words immediately made the room uncomfortable.
Women are what to each other? They behave how? Did she say “bitchy”??? Can you say on that on TV?
I can hardly blame them. It’s not a topic that goes down particularly well online, never mind In Real Life.
But it was interesting to feel so much resistance to the idea that women weren’t always that kind or helpful to each other in business or politics.

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