Recently, Facebook COO and LeanIn.org founder Sheryl Sandberg co-wrote an op-ed in The New York Times to break down a harmful stereotype: women don't, or won't, help other women in the workplace. A double standard as old as time, an aggressive man is seen as powerful, but a woman is catty or shrill -- only looking out for number one.
"Queen bees aren’t a reason for inequality but rather a result of inequality," Sandberg wrote with co-author Wharton professor Adam Grant. "Research shows that in male-dominated settings, token women are more likely to worry about their standing, so they’re reluctant to advocate for other women. A talented woman presents a threat if there’s only one seat for a woman at the table."
Sandberg and Grant explain that an inclination to fiercely guard a hard won position is understandable when the stakes are high and there is no room for error. "This behavior isn’t inherently female. It’s a natural way we react to discrimination when we belong to a nondominant group."
Only 4 percent of the CEOs on the Fortune 500 list are women, an unacceptable number by any standard. But studies show that when there is a diversity of voices in leadership positions, and multiple women have a seat at the table, everyone succeeds.Read on for four debunked myths about women at work.