I say both women and men must “change” – using masculine and feminine strengths as required at work. If women can succeed only by developing their masculine skills, we’ll just bring more of the same to the top. We won’t have diversity. If women have to do all the “changing,” they risk losing themselves, operating without authenticity and exhausting themselves.
Women in business and professions know they must sometimes be masculine, sometime feminine. Can women do this “shifting” without burning out or losing themselves? It is natural and smart to select from different “versions” of ourselves when we move from one situation to another. But it can be costly. If a woman who prefers a feminine style has to behave in masculine ways a lot, she may become an “honorary man,” become exhausted or dis-engage. If she does so consciously, intentionally, “mindfully,” can she avoid these costs?
It is natural for newcomers to observe a group’s norms and conform their behavior. Adapting can be exhausting, especially if done unconsciously or for too long. But adapting our behavior is sometimes important for our effectiveness. If I “flex” to be more effective, I am not being inauthentic — any more than I am inauthentic if I try to speak French in a meeting in France!