Does Career Success Require Finding the Secret Handbook?

What I Learned When We Added Men to An All Women Professional Development Program

For the last 9 years, as a part of my work to build the pipeline of future women executives, I have been leading a one-day career success program for women senior associates at a major professional services firm. Up until recently, the program — entitled Managing Career-Life Choices — was available only to women, but this year we opened three of the ten sessions to men. And while this was a small sampling, we saw some surprising outcomes. The men really did do things differently.

Introduce Yourself 

In the first co-ed session, the first man to walk into the room came up to the front center table and put down his belongings before walking over and shaking my hand and introducing himself. This quite startled me because in the over 100 sessions I had led previously, each with 20-40 participants, I had never had any woman do the same thing. It’s not to say the women weren’t friendly or that if I went up and introduced myself that they didn’t greet me in kind. It was just that women rarely chose to sit at the front center table and never thought to approach me directly in the first few minutes of arrival. When I asked him why he had done this, he seemed surprised that I asked. As he said, I was right there in front of him so of course he wanted to introduce himself.

What if women acted like that?

Read the full article here and learn more about the importance of finding, studying and sharing your organization’s Secret Handbook.

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