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Next Avenue: Women labeled ‘aggressive’ face a double standard at work

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org. It is adapted from the book “Nevertheless, She Persisted: True Stories of Women Leaders in Tech” by Pratima Rao Gluckman. Reprinted with permission of the author.

One of my close friends is working with an executive coach who is helping her get to the next level. Her performance reviews generally indicate that she is on track for a promotion. But when one of the male execs on her panel gave her the feedback that she is “aggressive” and recommended that she be “less aggressive,” her morale was shaken.

What does that mean? Is that feedback specific enough to make improvement actionable? Does less aggressive mean to attack but soften the blow? Or does it mean she should pursue her own interests less forcefully?

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