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Feminomics - gender balanced leadership
New perspectives on leadership from a gender perspective - and its relevance to business, politics, economics, the environment and home.
Curated by Erika Watson
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The Blind Spot #GenderBalancedLeadership

The Blind Spot #GenderBalancedLeadership | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
The Blind Spot -...

At a distance it looks like working on gender issues is about supporting women. What I find—as a man—is that it has everything to do with my own learning and liberation...


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Monty Python - Is it a Boy or a Girl?

The Hospital Sketch from Monty Pythons Meaning of Life...

“Is it a boy or a girl?” “I think it's a little early to start imposing roles on it, don't you?”


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Helen Clark: Inclusion and Equality: Why Women’s Leadership Matters | UNDP

Helen Clark: Inclusion and Equality: Why Women’s Leadership Matters | UNDP | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

My starting point is that it is a basic human right for women to enjoy full legal equality and equality of opportunity, and for a girl born today, in any country, to have the same life prospects as any boy. All our societies are the poorer if they fail to tap the full potential of half their population, and do not remove the obstacles which so often prevent women from rising to leadership positions in political systems and elsewhere.
I do believe that having a critical mass of women in leadership and decision-making positions is positive for human development in all countries – whether developed or developing, and whether countries are living in peace, recovering from conflict, or in the process of a democratic transition.


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A Nordic revolution: The heroines of Reykjavik

A Nordic revolution: The heroines of Reykjavik | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

I was there three years ago, a time of despond in Iceland, a country ruined by testosterone-crazed bankers, the first to succumb to full-on recession, the one that fell hardest of all. Tiny, desperate, broken Iceland (pop 320,000) presented, as we saw it back then in those tender early months of crisis, a vision of Armageddon for the big nations of western Europe. Yet now, today, there stands that spanking new building, a vision of opulence and modernity as striking as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, grandiosely out of place in this nordic Lilliput of brightly painted fishermen's houses


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Leadership with Heart & Soul Gentle Giant Moving

Leadership with Heart & Soul Gentle Giant Moving | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

One among many examples of leadership based on both masculine (tough-love marine) and feminine (caring, nurturing, empathy) values.

Women don't have the monopoly of the Feminine Archetype!

Larry O'Toole says Gentle Giant Moving is a people and leadership development company providing high-end customer service.

Larry O'Toole understands that when customers are difficult, it's often because they are going through something really hard. So the employees of his moving company learn not only how to pack trucks but also how to unpack the contents of the human heart. "You don't know what kind of stress someone is dealing with," says O'Toole, an Irish immigrant who is imposing of stature and soft of speech. "Diagnosed with a terrible illness. Death in the family. Divorce. You have to be able to read your customer. You see what they need, and you give it to them."


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Gender Balance is an Investor Issue Too

Gender Balance is an Investor Issue Too | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

This is no glass ceiling. It's a gender preference that starts relatively early in careers — and then continues. And this reality is not visible enough, nor even acknowledged inside companies. For most managers, there are 'more' women than there used to be, so all is improving naturally, right?

But if companies actually believed all the data showing a correlation between gender balance and financial performance, we shouldn't really need quotas at this point. That, of course, is the rub. They don't really believe it, or buy it. That is the work that still remains to be done. And one of the quickest ways to get there would be getting financial investors — like the New York pension fund — to convince them that THEY think it's important.


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Clinton praises women's rights in Finland

Clinton praises women's rights in Finland | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a general security of information agreement with her Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja on Wednesday. She also praised Finland's role in the promotion of women's rights.

“Finland always wins hands down when it comes to my personal tally of the number of women actual participating in international conferences.”


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For Japan to grow, we need to mobilise an army of female entrepreneurs" - Yoshiko Shinohara

For Japan to grow, we need to mobilise an army of female entrepreneurs" - Yoshiko Shinohara | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
When I first started in business in the 1970s, it was unusual for a Japanese woman to do paid work, let alone set up their own company. There were hardly any women entrepreneurs at that point.

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The Wage Gap And Women’s Choices Cartoon

The Wage Gap And Women’s Choices  Cartoon | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

Excellent cartoon by Barry Deutsch on AMPERSAND.


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Embracing the ‘socially distinct’ outsider

Embracing the ‘socially distinct’ outsider | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
Embracing the ‘socially distinct’ outsider : New research by Associate Professor Katherine Phillips suggests that adding a newcomer can increase a group’s discomfort — and improve the quality of its results...

Nobody wants to share a cubicle with a new hire like Dwight Schrute, the unsettling paper salesman from NBC's "The Office."

But according to new research by a professor from the Kellogg School of Management, better decisions come from teams that include a "socially distinct newcomer." That's psychology-speak for someone who is different enough to bump other team members out of their comfort zones.

“This paper shows that it’s not solely about the newcomer bringing a new idea, but their mere presence changes the behavior of the group. This is one example of the benefits of diversity,” said lead author Katherine Phillips, associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School. “Diversity goes beyond newcomers bringing new ideas.”


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The Paradox of “Women’s Leadership Training”

The Paradox of “Women’s Leadership Training” | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
Our economy needs women in leadership.When women are more than tokens in leaders...


Women Don’t Need Special Help
If there’s anything the data tells us about women in business these days, it’s that women are really good leaders and have all the skills they need to succeed in business. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review found that women outscored men on 12 of 16 leadership competencies. In addition, women are hard workers and results-focused and we’re good investors too.
Of course, women aren’t the same as men and we operate in cultural realities that can confuse us – and the men we work with – about our capabilities. This is pointed out by data that identifies areas we can focus on to get ahead such as learning to speak up and be noticed, negotiate and ask for higher salaries and communicate more effectively and authentically. But men can benefit from these skills just as much as we can. Why do we think these are “women’s issues”?


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Business Benefits from Authentic Women

by Ginka Toegel, IMD Business School LEADERSHIP Professor

 

Thirty years ago, Iceland's Vigdis Finnbogadottir became one of the world's first elected female heads of state. She was a popular leader, evidenced by the fact that she was reelected three times before retiring in 1996. Indeed, her victory could have signified a turning point for women in all professions—a confirmation that their leadership abilities were as well regarded and effective as those of male counterparts.

Alas, three decades later things haven't quite turned out that way. While there has been a slight upward trend in the number of female political leaders, the overall figures are still quite low. In 2010, women held only 90 of the 535 seats in the U.S. Congress, or 17 percent of the total—73 of them in the House of Representatives and 17 in the Senate. Currently, among the 192 member countries in the U.N., eight have female presidents, eight have female prime ministers, and three have reigning queens—less than 10 percent overall.


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Male & female economists have different perceptions of reality

Male & female economists have different perceptions of reality | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

The survey of 400 economists is one of the first to examine whether gender differences matter within a profession. The answer for economists: YES.

 

The genders are most divorced from each other on the question of equality for women. Male economists overwhelmingly think the wage gap between men and women is largely the result of individuals' skills, experience and voluntary choices. Female economists overwhelmingly disagree by a margin of 4-to-1.

Liberal economist Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic Policy and Research, says male economists have been on the inside of the profession, confirming each other's anti-regulation views. Women, as outsiders, "are more likely to think independently or at least see people outside of the economics profession as forming their peer group," he says.


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Gender Equality from Sweden Linking the Professional and Personal - ontheMARC.org

Gender Equality from Sweden Linking the Professional and Personal - ontheMARC.org | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
Gender Equality: Linking the Professional and Personal -...

As a man or a woman in the workplace, you could have an influence in the company policies regarding gender equality.


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Women, Wealth, and Power: The Emerging Paradigm

Women, Wealth, and Power: The Emerging Paradigm | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

Let me make one thing very clear: I’m not trying to typecast genders or suggest one superior to the other. There are plenty of women operating in the Male Model, while increasingly, men are embracing the Feminine Formula.

What I am describing is an emerging paradigm shift, allowing both men and women the freedom to choose between the historical norm and what’s becoming a clear, increasingly preferred, leadership style. And we have women to thank for this shift.

“Today the old style command-and-control leadership has given way to a new approach to leadership.” says leadership expert David Gergen, a Harvard professor and former advisor to four presidents, in his introduction to Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership.

“When we describe that new leadership, we employ terms like consensual, web-based, caring, inclusive, open, transparent—all qualities that we associate with the ‘feminine’ style of leadership.”


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Sweden Introduces Gender Neutral Pronoun - Building Gender Balanced Business

Sweden Introduces Gender Neutral Pronoun - Building Gender Balanced Business | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

Already known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to gender balance, Sweden is now pioneering gender-neutrality with the addition of a new personal pronoun to the online version of its National Encyclopedia. The word, “hen,” can be used in place of either “han” (he) or “hon” (she).


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From Don Drapers Alpha Males to Al Goresque Beta Males? Who ate my American pie?

From Don Drapers Alpha Males to Al Goresque Beta Males? Who ate my American pie? | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
Why Many Men Don't Embrace Equality -...

I think it’s hard, really hard, to change that mindset. We were raised to be Don Drapers, Alpha males, casually, uncritically entitled to a gender order that is vertical, hierarchical. And now we feel we have to be more Al Gore-esque Beta-males, oriented to equality, horizontally.

But change we shall - and not just because it’s the right thing to do. It’s also in our interests to embrace gender equality. The empirical evidence is clear: at the corporate level, those companies that embrace diversity and enable everyone (including white men) to feel included and valued have lower rates of absenteeism and job turnover, and higher levels of job satisfaction and productivity. And personally, the more equal our relationships, the happier and healthier everyone will be.


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If you Can Customize M&Ms, Why Not Careers? Brilliant!

Cathy Benko visits Google's Mountain View, CA headquarters to discuss her book "Mass Career Customization: Aligning the Workplace with Today's Nontraditional...

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Entrepreneurship. The New Women's Movement?

Entrepreneurship. The New Women's Movement? | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
Women are leaving the workforce in droves in favor of being at home. Not to be a homemaker, but as job-making entrepreneurs.

Female-focused incubators and events like the ones offered by Women 2.0 and Ladies Who Launch help women entrepreneurs to build out networks, gain confidence, and learn from successful women. While these events can be highly valuable I caution women to avoid falling into the female-only trap when it comes to business education and seeking guidance and mentorship, especially mentorship.

I believe a female equivalent to the “old boy’s club” is essential for women to help each other grow and edify the next generation of women leaders but I’ve also experienced the value of working with both male and female advisors and mentors. Learning from successful entrepreneurs with different perspectives and experiences help you become a more dynamic and agile business owner.


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"Having It All" Is Not a Women's Issue

"Having It All" Is Not a Women's Issue | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
The resonance of Anne-Marie Slaughter's Atlantic article is testimony to how far we've come since 1987, when I began talking about work and family in my Wharton School classes. Back then, many students — men and women — flat-out resented it.

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Forget the Geisha, Bring in the Samourai

Forget the Geisha, Bring in the Samourai | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

When she was asked by Har­vard Busi­ness School’s Antony J. Mayo and Mayuka Yamazaki why she brought men in her once all-female com­pany, she said:

“How about if we put some men in here?” The man­agers said, “No, thank you, we don’t need any of those crea­tures.” But we did need them. A branch hap­pened to hire a man as a part-timer, and wow, did sales increase! That was the turn­ing point. The trick was achiev­ing the right mix of men and women. We now have 60% women. But I wish there were more women in top posi­tions. In Japan, the child care indus­try is inad­e­quate, so women with chil­dren must stay home, and that makes it hard to change the ratio.”

One of my favorite line from this extra­or­di­nary woman is, when at the end of the HBR inter­view, she is asked:

“Were the obsta­cles you faced in start­ing a busi­ness greater because you are a woman?”

“Peo­ple often ask me that. My answer is “How would I know? I have never been a man.”


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3 Reasons You Don't Want Women Leaders

3 Reasons You Don't Want Women Leaders | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

 

An excellent article by Victoria Pynchon to share without moderation.

There’s nothing genetically different about women that makes them good, better or best. It’s their outsider status from the corporate norm that allows them to create their own worlds and unite peripheral and disenfranchised communities into collectively governed organizations.

Couple that with the survival skills developed in response to a lack of access to resources and you’ve got leaders who break forms, eliminate bureaucracy, promote the talented and demote the brother-in-law with no imagination and few skills whose well-being is at the center of the CEO’s marginally happy home life.

Don’t be fooled. There’s a reason women haven’t raised themselves up into leadership positions across all industries anywhere near to 20%.

Here are the top three reasons why you’ll want to dig your heels into the ground and continue resisting the emergence of a new class of leaders in American. (...go to Forbes website). Here's a tasty sample:

You run at business-speed. And business-speed no longer permits deliberation. You know what to expect from an anglo-saxon white guy. Why trouble yourself with the pussy-whipped HR department’s diversity and inclusivity goals? You’ve got a Fortune 50 division to run or an AmLaw 10 practice group to manage. You’re not striving for perfection here. Just “good enough.”

So, don’t bring women into the power structure even as the evidence continues to pour in about the bottom-line benefits they bring to your organizations. It’s just too damn hard.


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The gender debate, at least, has had it all

The gender debate, at least, has had it all | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it
My article about women and work has offered an unexpected litmus test on global gender equality...

When I wrote the cover article of the July-August issue of The Atlantic, titled Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, I expected a hostile reaction from many American career women of my generation and older and positive reactions from women aged roughly 25 to 35. I expected that many men of that younger generation would also have strong reactions, given how many of them are trying to figure out how to be with their children, support their wives’ careers and pursue their own plans.

I also expected to hear from business representatives about whether my proposed solutions – greater workplace flexibility, ending the culture of face-time and “time machismo” and allowing parents who have been out of the work force or working part-time to compete equally for top jobs once they re-enter – were feasible or utopian.

What I did not expect was the speed and scale of the reaction – almost a million readers within a week and far too many written responses and TV, radio and blog debates for me to follow – and its global scope. I have done interviews with journalists in Britain, Germany, Norway, India, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands and Brazil; and articles about the piece have been published in Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Bolivia, Jamaica, Vietnam, Israel, Lebanon and many other countries.

In many ways, reaction has been a litmus test of where individual countries are in their own evolution toward full equality for men and women. India and Britain, for example, have had strong women prime ministers but now grapple with the “woman-as-man” archetype of female success.

The Scandinavian countries know that women around the world look to them as pioneers of social and economic policies that enable women to be mothers and successful career professionals and that encourage and expect men to play an equal parenting role. But they are not producing as many women managers in the private sector as the United States is, much less at the top ranks.

The Germans are deeply conflicted. One major German magazine decided to frame my contribution to the debate as “career woman admits that it’s better to be home.” Another (more accurately) highlighted my emphasis on the need for deep social and economic change to allow women to have equal choices.

The French remain studiously aloof, even a little disdainful, as befits a nation that rejects “feminism” as an American creation and yet manages to produce a leader who is simultaneously as accomplished and elegant as Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund. Of course, the example of her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and other stories about French male behaviour suggest that perhaps a bit more féminisme à la française is in order.

Japanese women lament how far they must still go in a relentlessly male and sexist culture. The Chinese now have a generation of educated, empowered young women who are not sure whether they want to marry at all.

Brazilian women point with pride to President Dilma Rousseff but also underscore how much discrimination remains. In Australia, with its robust work-life debate, women point to the success of Julia Gillard, the first woman prime minister, but note that she has no children.

The global debate demonstrates at least three important lessons. First, if “soft power” means exercising influence because “others want what you want,” as Joseph Nye puts it, then women the world over want what feminists in the United States and elsewhere began fighting for three generations ago.

Second, Americans have much to learn from other countries’ debates, laws and cultural norms. After all, women have ascended the political ladder faster in many other countries. The United States has never had a woman president, Senate majority leader, treasury secretary or defence secretary.

Finally, these are not “women’s issues,” but social and economic ones. Societies that discover how to use the education and talent of half their populations, while allowing women and their partners to invest in their families, will have a competitive edge in the global knowledge and innovation economy.

Of course, hundreds of millions of women around the world can only wish that they had the problems I wrote about. Worldwide, more than a billion women confront physical violence and overt gender discrimination in education, nutrition, health care and salaries.

Women’s rights are a global issue of the highest importance, and it is necessary to focus on the worst violations. Still, consider a recent report from a sober and respected American magazine. The National Journal observed that women working in Washington have come a long way, but “still face career barriers, and often the biggest one is having a family.”

If “having a family” is still a career barrier for women but not men, then that, too, is a matter of women’s rights (and thus of human rights). In the global debate about work, family and the promise of gender equality, no society is exempt.


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Leadership and Gender: Why It Matters and How It's Changing

Leadership and Gender: Why It Matters and How It's Changing | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

Some history first...

So many women, so few in leadership roles - why?
The window of opportunity to free women and men from the confines of gender stereotypes is opening now. To take advantage of and further this change it is important to understand the history of gender roles, particularly in relation to leadership, and why the shift is happening now.Longstanding stereotypes about men being strong and assertive and women being communal, soft and understanding are key to understanding why women who are successful achievers are typically not in key leadership roles. But this begs a bigger question. Why do we think of leadership as masculine in the first place? And how does seeing leadership in this way create a blind spot for leadership done differently but with the same – or even better – results?
A brief history of leadership in the 20th century begins to answer the first question. In the early 1900′s when most people were not well-educated, the “great man” theory espoused leadership by a small number of men thought to possess superior intellectual and moral capabilities. Three factors led to a shift away from this theory after World War II. First, the G.I. bill enabled more men to become well educated. At the same time the manufacturing industry in the U.S. was booming and creating a need for more managers. Finally, as college educated G.I.’s filled these roles they formed a generation of managers and leaders who shared the military’s command and control style. These factors perpetuated hierarchical organizations with cascading levels of management and the prevalence of the command and control model. In this system, most leaders were men and leadership was equated with masculine traits including the tendency to be dominant, aggressive, and individualistic, to take charge, provide answers and exert control. (1)

In the late 20th century as women took on management roles they had to learn how to survive in the command and control culture. It is a well-known phenomenon that minority group members who enter the dominant culture blend in at first and are especially likely to be seen in stereotypical terms when they are viewed as tokens. Consultants who work on diversity issues refer to the “rule of three” – the need to include at least three members of a minority group in order for their voices to be heard and to influence the dominant culture. As a result of being one or two among a peer group of men women in business roles still walk a very tight line. They live in a double bind. Women are required to demonstrate just enough masculinity – assertiveness and individualism – and to balance this with the right degree of femininity – softness and and community orientation. They receive little credit for either and are subject to criticism if they stray too much to either side. “A woman who is strong and assertive, a command and control type, is seen as difficult and bitchy, but a woman who is warm and helpful is seen as weak and incompetent,” says Carli. On the other hand when men are warm, empathic, and thoughtful they are perceived very favorably but behaving this way is seen as a bonus not a requirement. Men have more leeway and options for how to lead. Women have fewer degrees of freedom and are held to different and higher standards. As a result they have to be more conscious of everything they do, another factor that makes their challenge more difficult.

 

(extract from Dr Anne Perschel's must read post. Picture is mine)


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Study shows gender bias in science is real. Here’s why it matters. | Unofficial Prognosis, Scientific American Blog Network

Study shows gender bias in science is real. Here’s why it matters. | Unofficial Prognosis, Scientific American Blog Network | Feminomics - gender balanced leadership | Scoop.it

Whenever the subject of women in science comes up, there are people fiercely committed to the idea that sexism does not exist. They will point to everything and anything else to explain differences while becoming angry and condescending if you even suggest that discrimination could be a factor. But these people are wrong. This data shows they are wrong. And if you encounter them, you can now use this study to inform them they’re wrong. You can say that a study found that absolutely all other factors held equal, females are discriminated against in science. Sexism exists. It’s real. Certainly, you cannot and should not argue it’s everything. But no longer can you argue it’s nothing.

We are not talking about equality of outcomes here; this result shows bias thwarts equality of opportunity.

Here are three additional reasons why this study is such a big deal.

1) Both male and female scientists were equally guilty of committing the gender bias. Yes – women can behave in ways that are sexist, too. Women need to examine their attitudes and actions toward women just as much as men do. What this suggests is that the biases likely did not arise from overt misogyny but were rather a manifestation of subtler prejudices internalized from societal stereotypes. As the authors put it,

“If faculty express gender biases, we are not suggesting that these biases are intentional or stem from a conscious desire to impede the progress of women in science. Past studies indicate that people’s behavior is shaped by implicit or unintended biases, stemming from repeated exposure to pervasive cultural stereotypes that portray women as less competent…”

2) When scientists judged the female applicants more harshly, they did not use sexist reasoning to do so. Instead, they drew upon ostensibly sound reasons to justify why they would not want to hire her: she is not competent enough. Sexism is an ugly word, so many of us are only comfortable identifying it when explicitly misogynistic language or behavior is exhibited. But this shows that you do not need to use anti-women language or even harbor conscious anti-women beliefs to behave in ways that are effectively anti-women.

Practically, this fact makes it all the more easy for women to internalize unfair criticisms as valid. If your work is rejected for an obviously bad reason, such as “it’s because you’re a woman,” you can simply dismiss the one who rejected you as biased and therefore not worth taking seriously. But if someone tells you that you are less competent, it’s easy to accept as true. And why shouldn’t you? Who wants to go through life constantly trying to sort through which critiques from superiors are based on the content of your work, and which are unduly influenced by the incidental characteristics of who you happen to be? Unfortunately, too, many women are not attuned to subtle gender biases. Making those calls is bound to be a complex and imperfect endeavor. But not recognizing it when it’s happening means accepting: “I am not competent.” It means believing: “I do not deserve this job.”

3) As troubling as these results are, they are also critical toward solutions. That biases against women are often subconscious means people need extra prodding to realize and combat them. I’m willing to bet that many in the study, just like people who take Implicit Association Tests, would be upset to learn they subconsciously discriminate against women, and they would want to fix it. Implicit biases cannot be overcome until they are realized, and this study accomplishes that key first step: awareness.


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