Women executives have been the target of one of the most massive makeovers in U.S. history and have been pushed into pursuing some of the most obvious techniques their male counterparts have used in progressing up the corporate ladder. Instead of being encouraged to be themselves, women have been deluged with endless advice on how to play corporate games, be more strategic, more assertive, less emotional. Much has been written about the value of a mentor relationship, and women have taken it to heart. Women's networks have been formed and supported. The fine art of politics and survival in the male executive jungle have been studied, analyzed, and practiced.
Women, in short, have been subtly and not subtly told to make themselves over in the image of men in order to succeed. The danger here is that women will be obliged to give up their own identities and forced to fit the traditional male mold. I say it is a waste of talent to expect imaginative and creative women to model themselves mentally along the lines of Lee Iacocca. Give feminine leadership a chance, and it will pay your company tangible dividends.