In the professional world, it is socially acceptable for women to be seen as the supportive servants to men. For a woman to be a leader, she must confidently allow her own light to shine despite all the wind that tries to blow her candle out. This is very difficult to do. A woman must be able to define herself to others over and over again as a competent leader. She must be willing to walk away from others who try to bully her into being less than she can be.
Typically, men are given permission by society to be seen as successful leaders whereas a woman is shamed for self-promotion. Men often have a network of professional connections to help them grow into new opportunities. Such professional connections are very limited to most women. Men can often count on someone “having their back” whereas women suffer from repeated “backstabbings” which are often inflicted by other women! No wonder so many successful women in leadership roles have grown hard, bitter, and distrustful.
In general, men receive more words of affirmation for a job well done than women receive. Many times men receive the credit for the work that was really done by women. Of course this discrepancy would lead women to believe they must be perfect before accepting leadership responsibilities.
A truly mature man does not see or treat any woman as his servant. A truly spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically mature man becomes a servant like Jesus Christ was a servant. A mature man is confident enough to become the lampstand for a woman’s light; he doesn’t pridefully expect a woman to forever be the lampstand for his light. The best advice I can offer to other women leaders in any profession is to stay connected to other men and women who truly support you in being a light to the world; and leave behind all those who try to blow your candle out.