Incite by Design

Caustic visions and shared thoughts on design, marketing, creativity, philanthropy, pop culture and business philosophy by Toronto design firm, Ricksticks Inc.


Fiorina - Just another female who lost the game?

FIORINA: 'Wicked smart' but ultimately unsuccessful

Poised and articulate, Carly Fiorina shattered the glass ceiling in corporate America as the first female CEO of a Fortune 100 company, ascending into the pantheon of women instantly recognizable by just their first names: Oprah, Hillary, Condoleezza, Madonna, Diana.

Fiorina, 50, a super-saleswoman whom her Lucent Technologies boss and mentor Rich McGinn called "wicked smart," radically transformed Hewlett-Packard in her 5 1/2 years at its helm -- although the jury is still out on whether she saved or spoiled the Silicon Valley icon.

Since everyone else has done a fantastic job covering the fall of Hewlett-Packard CEO, Carly Fionina, I have stayed out of the discussion. That is, until I came across the above.

Poised, articulate, wicked smart. It interests me that we must rely on "qualifying" women CEOs and entrepreneurs in this regard. We must make a special effort to discuss and reflect upon the positive qualities for fear of someone mentioning the F word. Female.

I don't believe Fiorina got the boot for being an aggressive woman. I am, however, suggesting that every time something happens in a negative way to a woman in power - vultures start circling. People are fascinated. Mythology is created.

Fiorina was wicked smart. Hillary married for political success. Martha fell from her throne.

I will be glad to see a day when we treat women who fall from glory with the same detached interest as we treat the men - because they are one of many women in power - both good and bad.