Monday, December 15, 2008

Women underappreciated in the workplace  

There's an interesting article over at the Huffington Post about how women's contributions in the workplace are often less recognize than men's.

Despite significant advances in recent decades, women continue to lag behind men in income and career advancement. Regardless of class, race, educational level and profession, women make less money than their male counterparts -- an average of 77 cents on the dollar. Women make up 2.4 percent of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (and get paid less than those peers), less than one-fifth of partners in law firms (minority women fare significantly worse, accounting for 2 percent of law partners), and continue to be significantly underrepresented in politics.

However, a growing number of studies show that women are more likely than men to be devoted to their employers and to see hard work as the best way to get ahead. But women, conditioned from an early age to be communal and "nice," are generally hesitant to boast about their efforts and are less likely than men to push for raises and promotions. In a workplace that rewards aggressiveness and self-promotion, women often go unrecognized for their contributions.

It's very true. If you put half the population in dresses and tell them to sit cross-legged so their underwear doesn't show because it's "unladylike," and put the other half of the population in jeans and encourage them to climb trees, which half is going to be more aggressive? For a few days, surround yourself with people and try to observe who tends to apologize more: men or women. If you're a student, who is more likely to preface their answer to a question asked by a professor with, "I'm not sure if this is right, but..." It's a really vicious cycle that needs to be broken. Of course, when a strong, aggressive woman does come along - i.e. Hillary Clinton - you get this reaction:

Double standard? I think so.

What next?

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