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Published: Wednesday, 10/4/2006

Ask the Good Girls

I enjoyed your article about the female marines. You refer to the Marines as being considered among the toughest in the world ... You quote the Marines calling themselves the finest warriors in the world. Please help me in my quandary. An article in USA Today about elite forces states that only 35 out of 166 candidates will qualify as SEALS: Are the Marines elite? How many women are in the SEALS? How many candidates qualify for the Marines? Since they say they are the finest warriors in the world, I am sure the number must be fewer than the SEALS.

Dear Reader,

You are referring to my column devoted to "Leading from the Front: No Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women" (McGraw-Hill, 2006), a new book by Courtney Lynch and Angie Morgan, two thirty-something business consultants who draw on their experience as Marine Corps officers.

Women have served in the Marines since 1918, when Private Opha Mae Johnson became the first woman to sign up for the Marine Corps Reserve. Today women serve in 93 percent of all occupational fields and constitute six percent of the Corps. Women are prohibited from serving in infantry regiments, artillery battalions, armored units, combat engineer battalions, reconnaissance units, riverine assault craft units, low altitude air defense units and fleet anti-terrorism security teams.

By order of Congress, there are no women in the Navy SEALS or other direct combat positions in Special Operations Forces. Yet women keep expanding their duties. In 2000, for instance, the first woman was assigned to command a Navy war ship at sea, in the Persian Gulf. I do not believe the current restrictions diminish the experience or insights of women who have served in the military.

Winning Over Time

Dear Good Girls,

I have a new job that I love, but there is one catch. I was hired by my supervisor s boss and my supervisor does not seem to like me. I know (from the grapevine) that she never wanted another employee added to her department. My guess is that she also finds me threatening because I have different qualifications than she does. I realized that she is doing her best not to help me in any way, while she is helping others, (people she hired) move ahead. I m worried because eventually I will need her support to advance at the company. Is there anything I can do to improve my situation?

Dear Reader,

Your best bet is to take a three-pronged approach. Be cooperative as you can be, hoping that eventually you appeal to her better nature. Since she is helping others advance, you can assume she s got some good traits. Perhaps she is feeling insecure, as you suspect, and will calm down once she realizes you are a team player.

In addition, do what you can to uncover the sorts of things she values on the job. Sometimes you can discover that simply by observation; in other cases you may have to do some behind the scenes questioning of your colleagues. If there is some agenda you can help her advance, you will win her over sooner rather than later.

Finally, keep in regular touch with the manager who hired you. He may ultimately be your best ally, so keep him informed of your accomplishments.

Leslie Whitaker Got a problem at work? Leslie Whitaker, co-author of The Good Girl's Guide to Negotiating, would like to hear from you. Send Leslie an e-mail at goodgirls@contentthatworks.com or write to PO Box 11156 Milwaukee, WI 53211

Copyright CTW Features

By Leslie Whitaker

CTW Features



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