Thursday, February 28, 2019

Jack or Jill?

A study I read about started this way:
  • Draw a picture of an effective leader

Almost without exception, the picture was of a man.

Ooops: what about the lady leaders? There's certainly no lack of role models in both politics and business, from Angela Merkel -- Chancellor of Germany -- to  Mary Barra -- CEO of General Motors

Another study had people listen in to a business meeting where actors, call them Jack and Jill, among others, were discussing strategy, issues, business details, etc
  • Invariably, Jack was given high marks for leadership, even if the script for Jill was nearly identical 
Indeed, we learn this:

“It didn’t matter whether women spoke up 1) almost never, 2) rarely, 3) sometimes, 4) often, or 5) almost always,” Kyle Emich, a professor at Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware, and one of the authors, wrote in an email.

“Women did not gain status for speaking up, and subsequently were less likely (much less) to be considered leaders.” 

The conclusion of those who study this stuff is that we're very much influenced by stereotypes learned from an very early age. In a word: culture. And, only time and performance will change culture significantly

Ok, so what does this mean? Don't speak up? Don't "lean in"? It's all not valued?
I hope not; there will not be change without engagement, so press on!

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