Dare I Say What I Really Think?

I recently attended a meeting of professional women in the energy industry.  The speaker's topic was related to the partnership of industry and academia.  For an ice-breaking table topic the speaker posted the picture of Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, on the cover of Vogue magazine and asked, "Does she look like a CEO?".

Our table grew quiet for a few minutes as we all scanned the picture.  I saw a a very beautiful woman in a very blue and professional dress posed horizontal and upside down on a crisp white lounge chair.  Very Vogue - I thought.  It struck me as fun, beautiful, powerful and professional.  Other views came forth.  Some saying it really wasn't professional for a CEO. Everyone is welcome to their opinion.  

It was easy to state my opinion but I am sure not so much for others. Especially if after hearing others speak at the table, they realize their opinion varied greatly from the norm.  

I saw it as a great lesson in risk taking.  Are you willing to share an opinion that is different than the group's?  If you do or you don't - what harm will result? Or what good or positive steps forward will be acknowledged or missed?

I see Marissa Mayer as a risk taker and applaud her actions.  She posed for this picture, knowing the conversations that would ensue, but was not afraid. Her reputation and her performance stand strong.

I recall speaking with a meeting attendee before everyone was seated and the meeting actually began. I said it was possible to move up in the corporate world without selling your soul.  She looked back at me with surprise, hope and a "how can I do that?" attitude.  Look at Marissa, there is one example for you right there.



Dare I say what I really think?  Yes, I dare.

If you would like to see the picture and article, follow the link below.