Women in Leadership

Do women have low expectations for us?

Expectation is not the same for men

Linda spends weeks on end negotiating properties and prospecting for land around the country, and every man she meets, asks her

“who do you work for?”

“What company are you representing?”

As she smiles and says, “My Own” with pride as a woman who has always been committed to defying the odds and creating wealth on her own terms.

But the expectation that a woman, is the managing partner and not the secretary continues to be the second question that greets her in every meeting.

Men, on the other hand, do not face the same challenges.

They are expected to lead. Without question, it is an expectation that does not require validation.

Today, Linda had an important meeting to negotiate a property after inspections with a colleague.

As they sat in a conference room going over the numbers, the gentleman pulls out a calculator. Before he could enter all of the numbers, she called out the total instantly, and it was right.

What can she say, she loves numbers…

Although she knew his comments were harmless, he started to say out loud to the other men in the room, “Oh, Miss Mathematician is here. She knows her numbers.”

A nice little chuckle as she reminded herself that the expectation that women can be valuable, intelligent, brilliant and educated seems rare in a market where reality shows portray women as loud, ignorant, adversarial and arrogant. She guessed it came as a surprise.


But the reaction to the low expectation of women is quite standardized.

This is one of the roadblocks for high level, intelligent women in leadership who are providing value in the market place, yet finding themselves settling due to the subjacent expectation that “they” cannot lead.

Linda often connects with women who justify and explain themselves, rather than embrace their power while taking their seat at the table of accomplished leaders.

How can you change it?

Unfortunately, there is no quick solution while women are still ‘’absent’’ in leadership. The increase of women leaders in high performing careers and business will create the value needed to shift the subsided belief that a woman, like Linda, cannot add without a calculator, or cannot lead a Fortune 500 empire.

Until you agree as a collective to stop allowing reality TV to be a purposeful representation of how you communicate and give yourselves permission to show off your talents, professionalism, credentials and brilliance to the world, men will always believe that you cannot achieve more.

It is time to highlight your value and Take The Lead 

Solution: Never, ever stop highlighting your value

Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise


My thoughts are inspired by writes by Carol Sankar, a business advisor

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