Women in leadership roles: obstacles and successes

Women in leadership roles: obstacles and successes

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A common theme when you talk to women about competing with men at work and the difficulties of rising to power whether you're working on Wall Street or Main Street is that they feel like they are dealing with a boys' club. In fact, there are only a few powerful women in business who we even hear about: Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo!, and Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and author of the book "Lean In."

Valerie Block, the deputy managing editor of Crain's New York Business, says one major reason women continue to struggle for powerful positions in the work place is that they don't appear confident. She says women need to project more confidence. A man might not know the answer to something but he will act as though he does and women need to learn to do this more often.

Dr. Propa Ghosh is an extremely accomplished woman. She is the first woman in the country recently appointed as a medical director of robotic surgery. She is the head of the program at Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, N.J. Her specialty is urology, a field dominated by men. She says she figured out early on in her medical career that an approach to tackle gender prejudice is to strive for excellence and not act like a man.

Technology is also a male-dominated field. But women are starting to gain some ground. This month's issue of Elle magazine features 13 women who have risen to top positions in the tech world. But it is not easy. Robbie Myers, the editor-in-chief of Elle, said that these women told Elle tech is still pretty much of boys' club, it's sexist, and it's hard for women to be taken seriously.

Only 25 percent of positions in tech are women. But we found that women are more successful than men when it comes to succeeding with very little capital and most of the startups had women at the helm than those that failed.

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