Women are not counterbalances to men. Not dampeners or limitation devices. We are not here to muffle men’s trumpets, to modify the overbearing blaring of male volume. Women in leadership are not mothers to man-child executives. We do not follow round with a mop and bucket, clearing up over-enthusiastic expressions of boys being boys. We do not want to help make locker room banter OK.
There. I just thought this needed saying. For while I’m sure many of the calls have come in the right spirit, alarm bells rang for me when I saw all the clamour for Uber to take on a female CEO, as if she would be an anti-sexism fix. Send a car for Sandberg! She’ll burst in, spray her can of sexual-pesticide around and sort out the company’s ills in one swift burst of sexism spring cleaning.
I’ve no doubt that Sandberg or any number of other female CEOs would do a fantastic job at Uber – but that’s not because they would be the anti-Kalanick. Expecting that would undermine the new boss from the start. There has been an appallingly sexist culture afflicting Uber, but it is society – not Sandberg – who must fix it.