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Gender in the Workplace . Dr. Heidi Strobel & Professor Meg Atwater-Singer . Women Working Outside the Home. Detail from Winslow Homer etching of women filling cartridges at the U.S. Arsenal in Watertown, MA; Harper’s Weekly cover , July 20, 1861. The 20 th Century.

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gender in the workplace

Gender in the Workplace

Dr. Heidi Strobel &

Professor Meg Atwater-Singer

slide2

Women Working Outside the Home

Detail from Winslow Homer etching of women filling cartridges at the U.S. Arsenal in Watertown, MA; Harper’s Weekly cover, July 20, 1861

slide3

The 20th Century

19th Amendment extended suffrage to women

Proposed June 4, 1919 & Ratified Aug. 18, 1920

slide4

Double bind: femininity quotient

Does this still exist today?

biology v gender
Biology v. Gender
  • Biology = physical body
  • Gender = social organization of sexual difference
masculinity
Intelligent

Courageous

Honest

Machismo

Potent sexuality

Affinity for violence

Provider

Ambitious

Confident

Competent

Strong

Masculinity
femininity
Soft

Passive

Domestic

Nurturing

Emotional

Dependent

Sensitive

Delicate

Intuitive

Fastidious

Needy

Fearful

Femininity
women s double bind
Women’s Double Bind
  • Madonna
    • Chaste, domestic, caring mother
  • Whore
    • Sexy, seducing, fun-loving playmate
contemporary s ideal woman
Smart

Competent

Independent

Beautiful

Thin

Sexy

Loving

Sensitive

Competent domestically

Emotionally healthy

Contemporary’s Ideal Woman
key leadership skills
Consulting

Delegating

Influencing Upward

Inspiring Others

Intellectually Stimulating

Mentoring

Monitoring

Networking

Planning

Problem-Solving

Rewarding

Role Modeling

Supporting

Team-Building

Key Leadership Skills
think leader think male
Think-Leader-Think-Male
  • Women are ATYPICAL leaders
  • Gender stereotypes
    • Emphasize “natural differences”
    • Mutually exclusive
    • Men & women are more similar than different
    • More variation among women than between women & men
numbers at a glance
Numbers at a Glance
  • 50.6 %
    • all management & professional positions held by women in 2005
  • 1.8 %
    • Fortune 500 CEOs who were women in 2006
  • 0.7 %
    • Increase in women’s representation in Fortune 500 companies from 2002-2005
some corporate practices
Some Corporate Practices
  • Gender Discrimination Lawsuits in last 10 year
  • Walmart, Home Depot, Lucky Stores, and Smith Barney
  • 2004: Walmart vs. 1.6 million plaintiffs
potential corporate gender pitfalls
Potential Corporate-Gender Pitfalls
  • “Women don’t want this kind of work”
  • Gender-associated stereotypes in evaluations
    • “a sweet person”
  • Influence of job assignments, training, or promotions
    • Existence of gender-segregated job ladders or career paths
  • No incentives for bias-free decision-making
  • Disparate opportunities for advancement & pay for equal skills
catalyst s damned doomed
Catalyst’s Damned & Doomed
  • Extreme Perceptions
  • High Competence Threshold
  • Competent but Disliked
extreme perceptions
Extreme Perceptions
  • Too Soft
    • Acting in gender-consistent ways
    • Cooperative, relationship-focused manner
    • Not a leader
  • Too Hard
    • Acting in gender-inconsistent ways
    • Authoritative, ambitious, task-focused
    • Leader-like, not ladylike
high competence threshold
High Competence Threshold
  • Prove again & again
    • More time and energy than male counterparts
  • Manage stereotypical expectations
  • Work harder to prove equal competence
competent but disliked
Competent but Disliked
  • Social disapproval
  • Less likely to trust or follow instructions
  • Less effective
  • Less personable
  • Less likely to exert interpersonal influence
  • Appreciated for leadership style or interpersonal style – not both
women leaders strategies
Women Leaders’ Strategies
  • Talk Openly
  • Show them Otherwise
  • Use Clear & Effective Communication
  • Minimize the Issue
talk openly
Talk Openly
  • Immediately confront the inequitable situation
    • Clearly communicate concerns
    • Note when a comment/behavior is inappropriate
  • Do not discount your own feelings or perceptions
  • Address assumptions to create awareness
show them otherwise
Show them Otherwise
  • Show your competence
  • Be consistent
  • Be visible, seek high-level assignments
  • Speak up at meetings
  • Find a mentor
clear effective communication
Clear & Effective Communication
  • Let people know what you want
  • Ask questions
  • Be diplomatic
  • Learn the jargon
minimize the issue
Minimize the Issue
  • Learn to ignore gender and act in gender-neutral ways
  • Reframe the issue to your advantage
  • Adapt yourself to the context
recognizing current limitations
Recognizing Current Limitations
  • Women now comprise a majority of college graduates
  • Underrepresented in leadership positions
  • Held to a different standard (Clinton)
conclusions
Conclusions
  • No single “woman’s point of view”
  • Acknowledge gender’s role
  • Push for alternative (nonlinear) career path options
conclusions28
Conclusions
  • Groups emphasize preexisting gender inequities more than independent projects
  • Gender differences impact leadership positions
  • Mix assertion with sociability