by Laurie Schultz
Originally published: September 29, 2017
For all the talk around female leadership and the importance of diversity in the boardroom, I never really gave much thought to being a woman executive, as opposed to just being an executive, until my daughter entered high school.
I had grown used to being the only woman in the room. In my male-dominated industry it wasn't that uncommon. When my daughter entered her teen years, however, the often easy-to-glaze-over effects of gender disparity started to surface as I watched through a new lens — the keen focus of a mother. Self-expectation became my daughter's enemy. I watched with empathy as she beat herself up for not acing a test or took a back seat in activities that she hadn't quite perfected yet.
My son didn't suffer from the same sense of pressure. He was proud of whatever marks he achieved and was fearless in trying new things. It became clear that the culture my kids were growing up in had different standards for boys and girls. And I started to realize how important my role as a female executive was in educating my children on leadership.