To move ahead one has to be able to risk. One also has to be able to listen to criticism and learn from it. Essentially to move ahead one has to be resilient--able to risk, make mistakes, and learn from error and critique.
Sometimes I wonder if the gender gap with regard to leadership and pay is, in part, due to the ability to be outwardly resilient and able to handle critique in beneficial ways.
I say this because I know that I'm very sensitive to critique--I don't like public criticism and can perseverate and lose hope or drive when that occurs. Meanwhile I notice that the men around me seem to take that critique with much less sensitivity--they hear it, act, and move on.
Could the gender gap, in part, be related to the sensitivity of some women--a sensitivity that makes women choose roles away from public comment and critique, and instead choose roles that are more private, less criticized, and behind the scenes than right our front.
I'm conjecturing here, and perhaps my conjecture holds true for one group of women, a group defined by age, geography, experience, or disciplines. I'm not sure, but it's a conjecture I want to explore more in the days ahead.