Myth #4: Blondes are dumb. While not necessarily a myth about gender, I had to throw this one in. My experience is that you have the edge when others make these types of assumptions. Don't bother to correct them, just take advantage of the situation when your abilities are being underestimated and blow right by them.
What else works? When asked, I offer a few other general pieces of advice.
First, a sense of humor, especially the ability to laugh at oneself, is indispensable.
Second, know yourself, both your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths and hire for your weaknesses.
Along the same lines, surround yourself with good people. You know you have the right people working for you when you fear, just a little, that they'll soon have your job!
Be a risk taker - take the job no one has ever done or others don't want.
Finally, believe in others. Look for the diamond in the rough, and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how often people will rise to your expectations.
Remember, the upside of being a woman in a male-dominated profession - no lines for the ladies rooms!
Liza Lowery Massey served in the public sector nearly 20 years as an IT executive before leaving to establish The CIO Collaborative to provide public-sector research, benchmarking and consulting services. In addition, Massey is an adjunct professor in the College of Business for the Executive MBA program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Massey's work in the public sector includes stints as CIO of Los Angeles and as executive director of San Francisco's Department of Telecommunications and Information Services. In 2004, she was recognized nationally in the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers of IT in Government Technology magazine.