Women, Leadership & the Silicon Valley | UC Berkeley Executive Education


>>Interviewer:
So how is this environment, perhaps different, perhaps more challenging, for women?>>Dr. Kray:
There are a lot of similarities with Silicon Valley and other male dominated professions
in the sense that, again, the default assumption has been that if women want to catch up they
need to become more like men. The need to lean in, negotiate more, claim
air time, they need to speak more loudly. All of these techniques are important and
they do move the dial, but at the same time what we find with Silicon Valley is that this
extremely fast paced dynamic environment that tends to be comprised of people who are progressive
and forward leaning in terms of thought. What that can lead to, unintentionally, is
a default assumption that we don’t have these problems. The male dominated work force, the analytical,
innovation focus, all of these sorts of characteristics can converge to make it very challenging for
women to feel like they fit in and to have their voices heard. We’re trying to change the conversation by,
again, helping women to embrace their masculine power, it’s what makes the world go round,
and at the same time providing them some assurance that they don’t have to forgo the deepest
most authentic parts of themselves to be successful. That this voice, the way we’ve been socialized,
the way girls play on a playground versus how a boy plays on a playground changes the
way that we tend to approach problems that impact other people. Recognizing that value and that strength builds
confidence and builds resilience when you do face the threats that inevitably happen
in dynamic and highly competitive work environments and marketplaces. All of this combines to create a different
image of what effective 21st century leadership is about.

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