Mmmm, yes and no. Know what makes people comfortable with being in charge? Being in charge. Know what it takes to be in charge? Being PUT in charge. Know who puts guys in charge? Other guys.

It’s a self-reinforcing loop. Guys put guys in charge; then the next time someone needs to be in charge it’s the one who was successful last time, who is probably a guy. Lather-rinse-repeat. (This isn’t my bright idea, I learned this back in my leadership classes in the Navy. Part of being a leader is training other people to be leaders because you can’t always be the leader all the time.) So I was taught to look for people (PEOPLE not guys) who don’t always stick their hands up, and put them in charge of something anyway (and then follow up, provide feedback, etc.).

Female Navy officers (and non-commissioned officers) spend their time being in charge. Until I became a civilian I didn’t know any women who *weren’t* used to being self-confident; I was flummoxed when I met women who acted like (what I thought were) fictional stereotypes, because I was just naturally used to “strong” women. I didn’t know there were any other kinds. (I didn’t socialize in high school, remember.)

I’m hoping that more women growing up these days are used to being put in charge from the beginning; they should have more self-confidence than their older sisters. And the loop can be redirected.

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Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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