Glass ceiling? Well, duh

Yes, here’s a report on women in hospitality and how they aren’t chosen for the top jobs. Guess what? It’s going on in every industry. Just read a long article in the Harvard Business Review by a guy who’s trying to say it’s not really a glass ceiling, but things at every step in women’s careers that keep them from being chosen for the very top jobs.

“Verbally intimidating others can undermine a woman’s influence, and assertive behavior can reduce her chances of getting a job or advancing her career.” The old idea that women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Gosh, we could have told him that and saved him from having to do all that research. But, then, he wouldn’t have believed us anyway because we’re just females…

The bad news is plenty:

  • Women’s leadership styles have been proven over and over to be more effective than those of typical males–but only lead to advancement when used by men.
  • Women are putting in more child care hours than previous generations ever did, despite the fact that many men are doing more than they used to.
  • Hiring authorities are actually prejudiced–plain and simple–against women.

And the worse news he also shares is that though everybody seems to think women are going to continue to make headway, he sees a boatload of reasons why they won’t. That in fact, women’s progress into leadership positions has stalled and even slid backward slightly and is permanently halted.

His suggestions:

  • Raise awareness of the psychological drivers for prejudice against women and try to dispel those perceptions.
  • Change the long-hours-and-hanging-out-in-bars-after-work-equals-great-performance norm.
  • Reduce the subjectivity of performance evaluations to minimize conscious and unconscious prejudices.
  • Recruit openly and fairly rather than from informal social networks–in most of which females are largely excluded.
  • Hire women in executive positions to eliminate the problems that come with tokenism.

Ever happen to you? You’re the lone woman on the Board of Directors and you make a suggestion that is completely ignored, only to find that two minutes later the same thing is proposed by a man and accepted. It has to me and lots of other women I know. Now imagine the difficulties faced by single working moms in regard to those long hours? It’s a no-win situation today. We’ve got a long way to go, and miles before we rest.


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