I forgot to mention that on the last day, I was asked to facilitate an informal table at lunch on women & mentoring - the issues, the experiences, the challenges.
Over a great lunch of pinto beans, chicken, rice, sour cream and cheese, I primed the pump reading a post I wrote called WiL the Men Speak Up? I asked the table for their thoughts and experiences around the following questions:
* Do we have enough female role models?
* Does one only encounter barriers when one becomes a parent?
* Are younger women not seeing barriers because no one sees them as a threat?
* Why do so many men perceive a WiL issue (even if they can't agree on the root causes)?
* Why is it easier to accept there's an issue if a man stands up first to validate it?
The purpose was not to reach consensus but to get folks to share experiences and ideas. As usual, the table started as quiet and then, about 20 minutes in, the conversation exploded. By the end of the 45 minutes, every woman at the table had jumped in and participated, sharing a story or advice.
There are no hard/fast answers. There are fewer answers without discussions like that one!
This is a topic about which I'm passionate. Feel free to search "women" on my blog and leave me comments on such posts as When Should We Act Like Men or Let's Get Emotional! ... or any other post that you may find.