If my daughters were interested in becoming professional women working in the corporate world, there are two phrases I would invite them to commit to memory:
“I’ve already said that.”, and
“Please stop talking over top of me.” or “Please stop interrupting me.”
…and if you’re a man in a leadership position, you should probably watch out for this type of behaviour in yourself or others on your team. It’s this minute by minute diminution (stealing their words, interrupting them) of women (or anybody really) that I believe does the most damage to their contribution and talent in the long run.
I’d also ask my daughters to very carefully consider who they partner with, and not assume that their career is going to have equal priority if and when they want to start a family. Men still get to assume that they’re the breadwinners, and this can also be damaging to a woman’s career when they unexpectedly have to put their professional lives on hold.
So, my daughters, if you’re listening, repeat after me…