What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three
Sample interview responses:
(NM) “My first fulltime job… I applied on a Friday and went back on Monday at 7:45 to see if I had the job. A man with a cup of coffee and a newspaper came in. I asked him if I got the job. He said he hadn’t made up his mind yet. I said, okay, you’ll call me correct? And he says yes. So Tuesday morning came and I was there at 8:00. I asked again. He said he still hadn’t made up his mind. I know they were thinking I was so young I might not fit in. But I had taken office classes in school so I could do all the secretarial stuff. Wednesday I finally got smart and brought the damn cup of coffee. I waited there with a cup of coffee and the paper. When he walked in, I asked if I had the job. He just cracked up, but said, ‘No I still haven’t decided.” I did it again Thursday. He still hadn’t decided. Friday morning he says, ‘You got the job’.”
(JS) “When I got out of high school…I went in and talked to the store manager every single month until he hired me.”
(JE) “… maybe it would have been different if I had started my career on the business side instead of on the shop floor. But I’m also proud of the fact that they didn’t scare me off. I had managers tell me I couldn’t be on the shop floor without a male escort. I told them, without saying it, by just continuing to be on the shop floor that they couldn’t tell me that. I will be on the shop floor when I need to be on the shop floor. I am responsible for these cells, and their quality. So every Friday, I put on a smock and ran a different machine with a different person.”
Sample survey comment: “I had a lot of (too much) confidence about my own abilities and my worth to any company. I say ‘too much’ because looking back it’s ridiculous how confident I was, given how immature and inexperienced any 22-year old is, but that confidence – earned or not – really helped me.”
They love saying yes to new jobs and assignments, confidently jumping in. Yet once they jump, they questioned whether they can fulfill their promises. Yet they never let anyone know of this breach in their confidence and just work extra hard to succeed. It isn’t long before their good work quells any doubts and restores their confidence.