Why Are Women Held to a High Standard?

Back in the olden days of 1983, there was one female VP at Macy’s. She was one tough cookie. She knew more information about her businesses than any of the other couple men at her level. She created a bit of a cult around her in the company, essentially keeping her people tight and in line. Not shocking, I wasn’t one of them. Politics has never been my thing. Yet, I was always impressed with her and wondered if she slept with numbers under her pillow.

There have been countless women CEOs and founders who have been canceled. It is not easy being a boss and being a woman. Toxic work environments work for nobody. Are people expecting founders and CEOs to be friendly, warm, charming individuals? Certainly not if they are male but possibly if they are female. Unconscious bias, tougher standards, and harsher judgment for women are absolutely in the workplace, which bleeds into society.

It is difficult for women to feel brave and in control regardless of how far they have come in their careers. It is a patriarchal system. It is not easy to change that. Look at who took on most of the burden during the pandemic, women. They were the ones that pulled out of the workforce to take care of the kids and the family.

Every person has their own management style. Some are better than others. The pressures, the expectations, the highs, and the lows can be fierce. I can’t help but ask the question, what are many people’s expectations from a workplace of a CEO? Are they aligned?

Before boards begin canceling a leader, there should be a thorough investigation and not a knee-jerk reaction. The echo chamber of social media can heighten someone’s cancelation before anyone has even confirmed that the behavior was unacceptable or inappropriate.

I have a few friends who have been canceled. It was swift and ugly without any evidence of a real investigation. Each generation has learned behavior from the years they grew up and went into the workplace. I am not saying that is ok, but we have entered into a “woke” world that “cancels” people for behavior ignored or possibly accepted before. I am all for change and completely agree that “woking” up is a good thing for our country, but we should be cautious about who gets canceled unless we know all the facts.

And women should be held to the same expectations as their male counterparts, not an ounce more. We need to accept that we are all very different. That is a bigger piece of the change that must occur if we are truly ever going to have a more equitable workforce.