The mid-1990s was midlife crunch time for Catherine A. Lamboley. High on the ladder as an associate general counsel at Shell Oil Co., she began to question herself, wondering how she had become two separate people, one person at work and someone else when not.It also was a reflective time for her employer, which was restructuring business operations and had just completed a strategic study of diversity issues.Both Lamboley and Shell were about to experience significant change. At a session to discuss issues raised in the strategic study, she let loose years of pent-up emotions, complaints and concerns about being a woman in what is still one of the more male-dominated industries.“I was pretty frank and blunt in that session,” recalls Lamboley, now a Shell senior vice president, general counsel and secretary. “I had become so assimilated to this culture that I hadn’t realized how I had changed to fit in. I realized I had to be who I was, and if it hadn’t worked out at Shell it would have been somewhere else.”Rather than knocking her off the career ladder, her candor caught the ear of the head of the company’s oil products division and propelled her upward. Within… Read full this story
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