Recently I heard a similar line of reasoning from women about two actual or potential woman candidates. I heard one woman say that she really did not want Martha Coakley to run for Governor because Coakley is such a marvelous Attorney General and should keep dong that job. I have also heard arguments that Elizabeth Warren should not run for President in 2016 because she can do more good as a Senator.
I am not disputing what actual glass ceilings there are that are imposed by outside forces. However, I am just wondering out loud if some women are holding back other women from the full measure of their potential. I won’t speculate on why that may be. I don’t want to follow in Larry Summers’ footsteps by proposing reasons that I do not even agree with myself.
Of course it is not only women who do this. In my career as an engineer, I had often heard it said that if you make yourself too indispensable in your current job, that will stand in your way of being promoted. Though notice the different tone of this “advice”. The advice is on how to get promoted, not how to keep yourself trapped in a role that is beneath your potential. (There is nothing wrong with keeping the role that you are in if that is what you want.)