last week on Friday we had a first meeting of WNG – Women Networking Group at Enova. The talks have being going on for quite a while, and when I was first approached regarding “what I think should be discussed”, I immediately told: Sheryl Sandberg’s book!
Then nothing happened for a while, or, actually the organizational committee was doing something but I was not involved. And when the first meeting was announced, the topic was listed a “Discussion of Chapter 3 of “Lean In”. Which was great.
So we all gathered in the conference room during our lunch hour, and there were sixty or seventy of us – not a small group! I was pleasantly surprised of how diverse we are – in all possible ways. First the general announcements were made and the organizational committee was introduced. Then we talked a little bit about what we are doing to do in the future (invited speakers, group discussions, group activities) and we grabbed our lunches and gathered in small groups for discussions.
The chapter 3 of Sandberg’s book talks about Heidy/Howard stereotypes (the same traits are considered “likable” in men and “not likable” in women), and we talked about our personal experiences. Some members of our group were initially shy, and later, when they started to talk, they stated, that it was deeply in their culture “to be modest”, not to praise themselves, “to give”, rather than ask…
At some point during this discussion our facilitator asked us, whether we think Enova culture supports women leadership. I said, that I believe, we have all potential for this: flexible hours, remote work, having this attitude that the inly thing, which matters is that job should be done. I also think, that most of our coworkers have no “anti-women” stereotypes and prejudgements. However, I believe we are not doing enough to encourage women to be more active – this being said, if they already are, nobody will stop them. However, for many of our female coworkers “being quite” is a cultural thing, or, even if they are not “quite”, they do not to strive for the leadership positions, because they just do not feel, they can… and with our culture this can be definitely changed!