Valuing All My Role Models

I often get asked the question “Isn’t hard to be a female executive without any significant female role models to support you”.  I have to admit, I am always surprised by the question because it never occurred to me that I didn’t have role models in my career.  As I look through my career, it has mainly been men who have made me see that I could do more, achieve more, and contribute more. They have helped me by believing in me, creating opportunities for me, giving me expanded experiences and by teaching me.  They have taken chances on me, supported me, led me and followed me. They have taken me aside and given me great coaching advice. They have let me lean on them when I have made mistakes. While, there are experiences that I have shared and learned from other female executives, I have had lots to learn, and I have been blessed by having strong roles models – regardless of gender.