30475321610_1698025dc3_oWomen should relish their roles and not try to behave as men, an energy industry leader told a group at an Oct. 26 reception at Mays Business School’s CityCentre Houston campus.

And they should never resurrect the fashion statement of the 80’s, when women wore neckties. “Be a woman, and you CAN succeed.  Don’t try to be a man,” said Amanda Brock, who is founder and CEO of Water Standard, a global water treatment company.

The fall Women’s Leadership Initiative provides female current and former Mays MBA students with a series of women-only seminars to create connections and practice networking skills for their professional development. About 60 women gathered to hear Brock speak on “Leading with Purpose: Resilience, Power and Collaboration.”

Brock said women need to consider facts, context and self on their journeys. “For a very long time, men have had a real dissonance with women in the workplace,” she said. “Women were sisters and mothers, not equals in the office. This new generation looks to be breaking down the barrier where previous generations did not.”

Some key points she mentioned were:

  •        One of the biggest values women bring to business is they insist on seeing the social impact of the decisions they make.

Women are naturally competitive, but they sometimes we want to be “more manly than even the men.” Women are also generally more empathetic and sympathetic as a whole. “We see the impact. When climbing the ladder, the loneliness is what takes its toll. Once women get to management levels, the percentage drops. Many women will choose to move from the ‘line’ ranks to the ‘staff’ ranks as they start families.”

o   47 percent of the workforce is female

o   4.6 percent of CEOs are women

o   9.5 percent of top earners are women

  •        Be brave enough to embrace the sisterhood. “And when climbing the corporate ladder, don’t pull the ladder up behind you to keep other women from climbing, too.”
  •        Look at a company’s policies and procedures before taking a job. Also ask others in the company about their impressions and experiences.
  •        Find a mentor.  Sometimes you have to seek a mentor, and sometimes they find you. “The most important aspect of this is to give back. Be appreciative, provide updates and be eager to help when it is your turn.”

Brock closed with the parable of the wind and sun: They bet each other they could get a man to remove his coat. The wind blew hard, but the man just gripped his coat tighter. The sun started to shine, put a smile on the man’s face, and he removed his coat to enjoy the sun.