Sigourney, Aliens, and Women in Business


Remember the scene above in the movie “Alien” in which Sigourney Weaver is protecting the little girl? It’s one of my favorite scenes of all times, because it demonstrates the power of women and our ferocity when protecting something for which we are responsible. That’s the upside.

The downside is we can’t always turn that protective element off. I observe corporate situations in my consulting work, and I watch women destroy each other. Rather than offering support, they protect their work like Sigourney in that contraption, ready to take out any bi*** that gets near it.

Part of the reason we battle each other is because we know the men are easy. They work well in teams, and if they can get somebody else to do their work, they’re happy. Let’s face it, they have the advantage and they know it. But just try to wrestle an assignment out of the clutches of a female. It’s as if we are Mohammed Ali, having fought our way through all sorts of business rings. Suddenly we’re asked to join hands with the opponent and share the victory. Hard to do, right?

As a consultant, I once met with a woman and gave her a variety of ways that I could help her “shine” since I had been brought in by the president of the company to help on a variety of initiatives.

She looked at me through squinted eyes and leaned forward. She spoke in a deep, gravelly voice making me think of Dirty Harry. I fully expected her to shoot something out of my hands.

“My one job, and my only job, for the next few weeks is to make sure you NEVER get any of my work. If you get work in my department, I will consider it my personal failure.”

How do you respond to that after my sincere offer of help? Thank goodness I wasn’t menopausal yet . . . I might have gone all Roller Derby on her.

If we took all of this intelligence and power and collaborated, can you imagine the result? What is it? Why do you think we often battle each other?