Thursday, September 10, 2009

Warm & emotionally supportive just ain't the path to success

"I think you're going to see a kinder workplace," said Suzanne Hodes, vice president of CareerXchange, a South Florida staffing firm. "It's my belief that women are more nurturing, caring and looking for work-life balance."

1) every "woman are nice & need to get more high-powered jobs" is made by a woman. Only 1 interview-ee is a man, who apparently whined a confused "why is this happening to us?"

2) the above statement is unbelievably sexist bullshit. The vast majority of women I know in Management are just as hard-assed, profession-driven as men.

2a) any woman heading into the top corporate, Fortune 500 companies had better be as hard-assed, profession driven as men. Otherwise the company won't want them. And those companies assuredly don't give a damn about a warm & fuzzy emotionally supportive work place. They care about money.

-->> this is why women don't get paid as much as men at this point in their business careers: if they're willing to put family first, without a stay-at-home husband, they're not going to compete on an even playing field, because they're disadvantaging themselves by trying to play a different game with different rules expecting the same results?

3) 'it's my belief' does not belong in a piece like this, unless is completely panders to (in this case) women. ... ... Oh, that's right, it does.

4) The Business section of the NY Times had a large picture of the head of the pension plan at GM above the fold on p.1. She was wearing a nice business suit, smiling in a friendly manner, standing with her hands
demurely held together in front of her standing in the unoccupied foyer of some large building. Described as "A soft-spoken woman described time and again as likable, ..." No where did I see anything which said "I'm a high-powered kick-ass hard-ball playing s.o.b., so don't fuck with me'. If this is how GM presents its financially powerful people, it's no wonder they're about to be stomped out of existence. I wouldn't take her seriously, even if it was my kid's school principal. I might dress like that at work, but I sure as hell wouldn't let anyone take a photograph of me for the Times (or anything else) looking like that. I'd want to be standing in front of my desk with the evidence of my hard work trying to drive up my employer's assets. Or at least some totem of business power. There was a picture of Whitney Houston in some glossy mag the same day - now that was a photo of a powerful, self confident woman.

And yet, the story is basically "this is a high-powered, highly paid woman who's being investigated because of how much money the top people at GM make, including herself". So, it says "she makes boat loads of money, and is being looked at suspiciously - oh, and she's a woman too".

--->> This is why women don't make as much money as men in business. If you are presented as submissive, no one is going to take you seriously. If you have that much power, you should have the brass balls to demand to control how you are presented to the public, who don't realize you're powerful. This is how we're telling young girls to get ahead? Look like someone's secretary? Even the C.E.O. Barbie (really I saw one in the neighbor girl's Barbie book) looks more like a CEO - facing front in front of a big desk in a big office with the trappings of power (it was 15 years old and she had a fax, something on the big cheeses got back then).

I'm willing to bet that if I went looking for photos of Angela Merkel and Hilary Clinton, the American press would be painting Clinton as a nice, warm woman who wants to help you. The only photo I've seen of Merkel looking warm & supportive was at a professional soccer match. Which isn't really the same kind of 'supportive'.

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