Hi Lag143, tanks for getting engaged! As a male, this really seems like a loaded question but I will do my best to answer it. I know some companies and areas of the country are still harder on women than others, but I have seen much improvement throughout my career. Especially in the Bay Area. In a competitive marketplace competition is fierce on all of us. As a manager who has hired many women, I can honestly say that a person's sex was never a variable to consider, much less a deciding factor.
Corporate America can be a very unforgiving and unfair place where the cream may not always have the opportunity to rise to the top. Unfortunately, that's just the reality of it.
Should you look to be part of the boy's club. My answer is not unless you want to. The best thing that you could do is to stay true to your core values and never change for anyone. Knowing who you are as a person will help you to navigate through decisions such as these.
The next most important thing is to be an expert at your job and to deliver results. The stronger the performer, the less likely it is for your sex to ever come to mind. I look at the accomplishments on the resume, before the name.
This may sound cliche but women like Meg Whitman, Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg have done so much raise the bar on what business women can achieve. I hope many of today's female rookies try to emulate them. Good luck!
Anyone else care to join in the discussion with advice for Lag 143?