Nancy Klock Corey is regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate's Southeast region.
I remember reaching into my pocket one time during a very important meeting and finding [my son’s] tiny G.I. Joe toy there. I inadvertently pulled it out because it felt so strange. I was in a conference room with all men, and they were entertained, but it was not necessarily appropriate.
If any other women had been there, they would have understood how important it is to be perceived not just in a maternal but also in an executive role. Sometimes I even think that having the pictures of my five children behind my desk early in my career wasn’t such a great thing for me to do as a woman executive.
After a meeting once when I was I probably was in my early 30s, this gentleman there told me, “I never expected this meeting to be so tough because you had those all those kids behind you.” He had come in about a situation and hadn’t expected me to be as strong as I was on the issue. He thought he had it in the bag because he was walking in to speak to a mommy.
When I first started out [in my career], I had a mentor who was fabulous. He was patient, listened to me all the time and gave me excellent advice. He always had time for me. But when he left, there was a big void.
I believe if I had had a powerful woman mentor from the beginning, it would have made a difference for me. I think I would have moved along much more quickly than I did if I had had a strong woman I could have talked to who would have helped open doors and given great advice on balancing home and the high-pressure business situations you run into all the time in a male-dominated workplace.
I have learned that women should support one another the way men support men in the workplace.
I have learned that women should support one another the way men support men in the workplace. We don’t need to compete with other women in the year 2018. There are not enough of us to make it necessary.
My advice [to women in business] is, don’t try to be a man. Because it is way more powerful to be a woman. Men use everything they have, and women should as well.
If women would help other women now and going forward, I firmly believe it would make a difference. I have addressed with women everything from appropriate business dress to voice strength in public speaking — and have made sure they get opportunities to learn to do those things.
I have four sons and one daughter, and she is my oldest. [It meant a lot] when she used this quote to refer to me once on Facebook: “Thank you for teaching me through your example to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and instead focus on shattering glass ceilings. You were my inspiration.”
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Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate