Global Leadership Blog
professional women

What Professional Women Can Learn From Hillary Clinton

Have you ever watched crabs in a bucket? I’m from the East Coast, so I’ve seen it many times–how they could easily get up and out but instead each crab pulls the others down, which serves as a good metaphor for professional women. If we supported each other, instead of tearing each other down, more of us could make it to the top.

This presidential election is an example of this. Research shows that women voters could be the ultimate deciders of who sits in the Oval Office next.

Women across the country are rallying behind Hillary Clinton. Many of them believe she is more experienced, has more clout and credibility, and is more accomplished. They also feel there needs to be more female leadership in politics.

There are plenty of reasons to want a woman in the White House–and in the C-suite of organizations.

Female leaders tend to be more collaborative and consensus-oriented. They’re great at working in teams, excel at getting tasks done, and can authentically represent compassionate leadership. Professional women typically treat others as the whole person–not just a spoke in the wheel necessary to get things done.

Fellow women in the workplace need to be aware of the crabs in a bucket phenomenon. We need to stop this thinking that there are few opportunities for women, so we must keep others from getting them. Instead, we should compete (with both men and women) while being supportive and creating more opportunities for all.

Here’s how we do that:

1. Mentor each other.

Look for opportunities to share your wisdom and experience with others and create networks to help others succeed.

2. Raise your voice.

Speak up for those who have done a great job and encourage others to share their accomplishments and ask for what they want, like a raise or a project. Do the same.

3. Stop saying sorry.

A lot of professional women have developed the habit of apologizing and diminishing their accomplishments. Stop doing this and applaud others that toot their own horns.

4. Be supportive.

If someone gets a promotion, instead of being envious, be happy. They’re reaping the rewards for their hard work and ambition, and you can, too.

On multiple occasions throughout this election, Clinton has been respectful and amicable to her competitor, despite the stakes. We can look to her as an example of what it takes to be a competitive professional woman without pulling others down.

A version of this post was first published on Inc. 

Image: AmericanSpirit/123rf

Melissa Lamson

About The Author

Melissa Lamson, Founder and President of Lamson Consulting, is an author, consultant, and speaker who accelerates the business expansion goals of today’s most successful companies by developing global mindset, refining leadership skills, and bridging cross cultural communication. More About Melissa Lamson


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