Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds
Issue link: http://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/662902
d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m S u m m e r 2 0 1 6 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 7 L isa Lutoff-Perlo, the subject of this issue's cover story and the CEO of Celebrity Cruises, is a true trailblazer. She is the frst woman to lead a major cruise line. Our Imagined Barriers But many years ago, if Lutof-Perlo had had her way, she would now be a few rungs down the company organi- zation chart. Lutof-Perlo was a rising star in the company's sales department. Her goal, in fact her life's dream, was to become the vice president of sales. It never occurred to her that she could advance further. Not only were there institu- tional barriers to a woman advancing to lead a cruise line in such a male- dominated industry, but there were internal barriers—her own. Due to the urging of a sponsor within the organization, Lutof-Perlo left sales and got more experience in the company. Today she is the CEO. Her story is instructive, and I thought about it a lot while working on my dissertation over the last year. My research posited that one of the reasons women are not represented proportionally in C-suites is not only because of well-known organiza- tional barriers, but also because we as women sometimes believe the myths that have historically defned why we can't be in the C-suite. Oftentimes we—and I include myself here—lack knowledge, which is the real power. We think leading a company is unreachable, or that we have to sacrifce our family or other personal goals. But the good news is we can now dispel those myths and overcome internal barriers by learning from stories like Lisa Lutof- Perlo's. We can learn how to gain the necessary experience and skills and become prepared and poised for any level of advancement we desire. One way to begin is through infor- mation. In our Accelerate department (page 25), "Eight Ways to Advance Your Career and Boost Your Pay" writer Karen Eisenberg fnds out from industry experts how best to position yourself within (and outside of) your organization for advancement. We are privileged to live in a time when organizations recognize that those led by women can be as proft- able as those led by men. We are fnally getting recognition for outper- forming our male peers. So let's take advantage of our time, which is now! Sheila Robinson Publisher, Diversity Woman Publisher's Page > Oftentimes we lack knowledge, which is the real power.