I recently addressed a local chapter of Women In Management. To be fair, I was not nervous, I am very comfortable working with women. In my previous career in the military people assume it was male dominated. Women make up about 15% of the military but are concentrated into certain units due to Congressional Mandates. They are not allowed in Combat units, Infantry, Artillery, Armor, etc. Thus the female Soldiers end up in Combat Support units such as Truck Companies, Aviation, Medical, etc. These units can end up being up to 50% female Soldiers, including the commanders and most leadership positions.
The group I addressed were in management, all over the spectrum, owners, small business, leadership positions at the senior level in large organizations. The same make up I get in a mixed gender audience. Here’s what I noticed and impressed me. The level of camaraderie, not the loud guffaw stuff I often see with the men, but true personal sincerity. The level of personal interest and offers to help each other in their careers. Don’t misunderstand, these women were competitive, focused and highly organized. There just seemed to be a personal touch that I had not noticed in a predominately male audience.
The experience made a positive impression with me, I look forward to working with other chapters in the Women In Management organization.