I am seeing more and more focus on the issue of why there are not more women at the leadership level of U.S. business. Yet there is so little progress. I agree with other experts that the causes exist at the unconscious level. Our goal is to create awareness of the invisible obstacles to gender diversity at the top — the double bind, the comfort principle and unconscious images. Lowering these obstacles starts with awareness. Like the blind spot in our car, once we know about it, we can manage it. We can change mind-sets once they are conscious.
I knew that our “unconscious images” created an obstacle for women. People who do not “look the part” are less likely to come to mind when assignments or promotions are being made. I learned from my former husband that people may actually fear giving an assignment or position to a women because they can’t envision her approach working.