sI coach ambitious women. They come to me because they want to get promoted and I have a proven process to help them get ahead. But what I’ve noticed lately is many of my clients are out of alignment with the culture of their company and it causes them a great deal of stress and frustration.

What do I mean by this?

The obvious answer might be that it’s a male dominated environment that is not female friendly. That’s certainly a factor to consider. But I coach women how to understand the underlying dynamics and navigate this type of environment successfully. The key to success is accepting the reality and building the alliances and relationships you need to make it work…and it’s workable. The majority of my clients work in this type of organization and have been promoted.

But what is perhaps less obvious is the type of environment that crushes your creativity and mutes your opinion. This lack of support and empowerment may not be necessarily gender related. People put each other down and sabotage the success of others. This is toxic and is the most stressful environment of all. It’s a losing battle. It’s hard to trust people and build the type of relationships to help you succeed.

Perhaps the company claims to be consensus driven and team oriented, but in reality people don’t work collaboratively at all. The teams are dysfunctional. It’s easy to feel like a fish out of water if you thrive in a more collegial setting.

Another culture that holds ambitious women back is a slow moving conservative culture. I have several clients who work for German companies where nothing new happens for decades. How does an ambitious woman survive in this type of working environment?

The bottom line here is that you need to understand the best type of environment to support your ambition. If you are constantly stressed out and fighting the status quo it can be a sign that your values do not align with those of the company. In that case, you should consider finding a more suitable organization that will help you realize your goals.