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Gender in the Workplace Dr. Heidi Strobel & Professor Meg Atwater-Singer.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender in the Workplace Dr. Heidi Strobel & Professor Meg Atwater-Singer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender in the Workplace Dr. Heidi Strobel & Professor Meg Atwater-Singer

2 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

3 The 20 th Century 19 th Amendment extended suffrage to women Proposed June 4, 1919 & Ratified Aug. 18, 1920

4 Double bind: femininity quotient Does this still exist today?

5 Inroads made during the Depression and World War II Real increases after Title IX

6

7 Biology v. Gender Biology = physical body Biology = physical body Gender = social organization of sexual difference Gender = social organization of sexual difference

8 Masculinity Intelligent Intelligent Courageous Courageous Honest Honest Machismo Machismo –Potent sexuality –Affinity for violence Provider Provider Ambitious Ambitious Confident Confident Competent Competent Strong Strong

9 Femininity Soft Soft Passive Passive Domestic Domestic Nurturing Nurturing Emotional Emotional Dependent Dependent Sensitive Sensitive Delicate Delicate Intuitive Intuitive Fastidious Fastidious Needy Needy Fearful Fearful

10 Women’s Double Bind Madonna Madonna –Chaste, domestic, caring mother Whore Whore –Sexy, seducing, fun-loving playmate

11 Contemporary’s Ideal Woman Smart Smart Competent Competent Independent Independent Beautiful Beautiful Thin Thin Sexy Sexy Loving Loving Sensitive Sensitive Competent domestically Competent domestically Emotionally healthy Emotionally healthy

12 Key Leadership Skills Consulting Consulting Delegating Delegating Influencing Upward Influencing Upward Inspiring Others Inspiring Others Intellectually Stimulating Intellectually Stimulating Mentoring Mentoring Monitoring Monitoring Networking Networking Planning Planning Problem-Solving Problem-Solving Rewarding Rewarding Role Modeling Role Modeling Supporting Supporting Team-Building Team-Building

13 Think-Leader-Think-Male Women are ATYPICAL leaders Women are ATYPICAL leaders Gender stereotypes Gender stereotypes –Emphasize “natural differences” –Mutually exclusive –Men & women are more similar than different –More variation among women than between women & men

14 Numbers at a Glance 50.6 % 50.6 % –all management & professional positions held by women in % 1.8 % –Fortune 500 CEOs who were women in % 0.7 % –Increase in women’s representation in Fortune 500 companies from

15 Some Corporate Practices Gender Discrimination Lawsuits in last 10 year Gender Discrimination Lawsuits in last 10 year Walmart, Home Depot, Lucky Stores, and Smith Barney Walmart, Home Depot, Lucky Stores, and Smith Barney 2004: Walmart vs. 1.6 million plaintiffs 2004: Walmart vs. 1.6 million plaintiffs

16 Potential Corporate-Gender Pitfalls “Women don’t want this kind of work” “Women don’t want this kind of work” Gender-associated stereotypes in evaluations Gender-associated stereotypes in evaluations –“a sweet person” Influence of job assignments, training, or promotions Influence of job assignments, training, or promotions –Existence of gender-segregated job ladders or career paths No incentives for bias-free decision-making No incentives for bias-free decision-making Disparate opportunities for advancement & pay for equal skills Disparate opportunities for advancement & pay for equal skills

17 Catalyst’s Damned & Doomed Extreme Perceptions Extreme Perceptions High Competence Threshold High Competence Threshold Competent but Disliked Competent but Disliked

18 Extreme Perceptions Too Soft Too Soft –Acting in gender-consistent ways –Cooperative, relationship-focused manner –Not a leader Too Hard Too Hard –Acting in gender-inconsistent ways –Authoritative, ambitious, task-focused –Leader-like, not ladylike

19 High Competence Threshold Prove again & again Prove again & again –More time and energy than male counterparts Manage stereotypical expectations Manage stereotypical expectations Work harder to prove equal competence Work harder to prove equal competence

20 Competent but Disliked Social disapproval Social disapproval Less likely to trust or follow instructions Less likely to trust or follow instructions Less effective Less effective Less personable Less personable Less likely to exert interpersonal influence Less likely to exert interpersonal influence Appreciated for leadership style or interpersonal style – not both Appreciated for leadership style or interpersonal style – not both

21 Women Leaders’ Strategies Talk Openly Talk Openly Show them Otherwise Show them Otherwise Use Clear & Effective Communication Use Clear & Effective Communication Minimize the Issue Minimize the Issue

22 Talk Openly Immediately confront the inequitable situation Immediately confront the inequitable situation –Clearly communicate concerns –Note when a comment/behavior is inappropriate Do not discount your own feelings or perceptions Do not discount your own feelings or perceptions Address assumptions to create awareness Address assumptions to create awareness

23 Show them Otherwise Show your competence Show your competence Be consistent Be consistent Be visible, seek high-level assignments Be visible, seek high-level assignments Speak up at meetings Speak up at meetings Find a mentor Find a mentor

24 Clear & Effective Communication Let people know what you want Let people know what you want Ask questions Ask questions Be diplomatic Be diplomatic Learn the jargon Learn the jargon

25 Minimize the Issue Learn to ignore gender and act in gender- neutral ways Learn to ignore gender and act in gender- neutral ways Reframe the issue to your advantage Reframe the issue to your advantage Adapt yourself to the context Adapt yourself to the context

26 Recognizing Current Limitations Women now comprise a majority of college graduates Women now comprise a majority of college graduates Underrepresented in leadership positions Underrepresented in leadership positions Held to a different standard (Clinton) Held to a different standard (Clinton)

27 Conclusions No single “woman’s point of view” No single “woman’s point of view” Acknowledge gender’s role Acknowledge gender’s role Push for alternative (nonlinear) career path options Push for alternative (nonlinear) career path options

28 Conclusions Groups emphasize preexisting gender inequities more than independent projects Groups emphasize preexisting gender inequities more than independent projects Gender differences impact leadership positions Gender differences impact leadership positions Mix assertion with sociability Mix assertion with sociability


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