Battle of all the things…
Here’s the thing about minority representations in corporate positions, tech or otherwise: the conversation should perhaps be less concerned with male vs. female power dynamics, or even the white vs. “insert racial minority here” struggle, and more focused on what the prescribed characteristics of a successful leader are and how to break the mold, or otherwise conform. While I greatly respect the widespread conversations regarding the lack of female representation in business, the topic needs broader connotations.
Consider this: gay males with feminine characteristic are even less represented as a micro-culture within corporate settings than are females or any racial minority. Research suggests that feminine characteristics greatly reduce the authoritative power a gay male may have if he talked more “manly”, behaved more hetero, and used vastly different, more masculine kinesic cues. The conversation should evolve from “what can I do to improve my self-worth and how to personally climb the corporate ladder,” rather how to change the perception of naysayers. Sheryl Sandberg was on the right track regarding altering the mindset of females, but the conversation needs to be expanded across all of society, regardless of race and/or gender. Let change our views of self-worth and increase individual self-esteem. Let’s break the mold of “who” a leader should be or “how” they should behave, and what leadership qualities are important and why equal representation (gender, race, sexual orientation) is integral to the evolution of corporate success.
So, how many conversations have you contributed to regarding this dilemma?
Check out this article, None So Queer, by Sara Muhr and Katie Sullivan, which details transgender managers and the role of gender identity and presumed gender on leadership roles. none-so-queer