Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We Need Women

      Participants in a study on perception were given to nearly identical profiles on a future boss.  The same characteristics were given: smart, driven, hard-working, ect.  The only difference between the two profiles was the name: John or Kate.
     The participants loved John.  he was the boss they all wanted to work with, he sounded like a great guy.  The participants who had Kate profile though, even though it was exactly the same expect for the name, they didn't think they could work with her.  They thought that she sounds too harsh, too focused on her career, might even be kind of a bitch.
     Why is it that the same qualities that are revered in men are the qualities that make women "bitchy"?  The difference is how our society perceives women and men's roles.  It's why women hold 4.2% of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies, are less than 20% of engineers in industry, and less than 20% of the seats in congress.  It's why women are 1/3 of the students in MBA classes, but total 2% of CEOs, 6% of top earners and 16% of board members.
    Women are supposed to be the homemakers, but we are not.  Industry needs more women.  Engineering, Science, Math and Technology need more women. Women see things differently, they can find different solutions and they provide new insight into problems that have been ignored by men for years.  Women don't  need to be dissuaded from STEM careers, from high power careers, from jobs that are traditionally "male".  We are strong, and it's ok.  Driven, smart and strong women are NOT bitches.

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