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The Scully.

The “no” woman is the opposite of a “yes” man. She’s usually not an administrative assistant or junior employee — most often, she is part of the leadership team in the company or on a particular project. And whether it’s part of her official job description or not, she’s the person who’s there to say no. She provides a counterbalance to the creative visionary and a reality check after a brainstorming session. She finds herself continually speaking up to temper her colleagues’ expectations or modify their strategies, either because it’s part of her job to control budgets and keep everyone within the bounds of the law, or because she is simply more rational than the freewheelin’ “ideas men” she works with.

You see her in pop culture. In the opening monologue of the newly rebooted X-Files, Agent Fox Mulder describes how he came to work with Agent Dana Scully: “In 1993, the FBI sought to impugn my work, bringing in a scientist and medical doctor to debunk it.” Scully, whose entire character is based on skepticism, is the consummate “no” woman.

Ann Friedman on no women.

2017-07-17T10:39:46+10:003rd July, 2017|Tags: business, culture|

The number one assumption—this is what I see in so many companies, if not all companies—they make as to why women don’t advance and why women leave is that it’s because of work-life balance. What’s interesting is that a different story emerges from these women. […]

The story is: “Do I have work-life balance challenges? Absolutely. And did I say that in my exit interview? Absolutely, because it’s a reality. However, what caused me to leave was that I didn’t feel valued. And I didn’t feel like there was a future progression of my career within this company and within this firm.”

Barbara Annis on exits.

2017-07-17T11:40:49+10:0018th November, 2016|Tags: business, culture|

It’s not what you know, it’s who.

I had been raised by my dad to believe that personal connections were completely meaningless. If someone was looking to hire, they would put out an ad in the classifieds. They would impartially look at the resumes of everyone that applied and if you had a better GPA than someone else, you would be picked.

This is complete and total bullshit.

Red Queen Coder on hard life lessons.

Go and read the whole post, because pretty much every line of it made me nod my head muttering, “Mm-hmm”.

My parents were also very much of the “it’s not who you know, it’s what” school of life, which is why I spent a good ten years working twice as hard to get half as far as seemingly everyone else (though being a woman in IT didn’t help much, either). On the other hand, one of my husbands mates effectively got handed several million dollars just because he happened to be at Harvard at the right time in his life, so… yanno. About that.

2016-11-09T08:24:08+11:0011th November, 2016|Tags: business|

Tough luck.

First, no one gets a pat on the back for promoting diversity at work. No one, regardless of race or gender, was evaluated more positively by their bosses for advocating for more diversity in the workplace. Second, however, women and non-white executives were judged more harshly by their bosses when they did engage in “diversity-valuing” behaviors in the workplace.

Which means that the only group that isn’t punished in some way for advancing diversity in the workplace is white men.

This does not bode well for many people leading diversity initiatives. If women and people of color are vocal about these kind of issues at work, they may be second-guessed or criticized—because doing so acknowledges their low-level status.

Quartz summarizing a study on diversity in the workplace.

2017-07-17T11:40:00+10:005th September, 2016|Tags: business, culture|

How to retain women.

Well, here’s a shocker: A new global study of women in their 30s found they don’t leave jobs because they’re worried about family obligations. They leave because employers won’t pay and promote them. “Surprisingly,” reads the report, “young women identified finding a higher paying job, a lack of learning and development, and a shortage of interesting and meaningful work as the primary reasons why they may leave.”

This is only surprising if you have never spoken to a woman in her 30s. Most women don’t have to be exhorted to care more about work or apply themselves more vigorously. They are all in — no lean about it. The problem is that, all too often, their efforts are not recognized, cultivated, and compensated in the way their male colleagues’ are. This is often spun into a complex issue that some of corporate America’s brightest minds have struggled to solve — the stuff of Supreme Court cases and contentious legislation.

Ann Friedman has three simple steps to retain women.

Those steps are “pay women more”, incidentally. All of them.

Also, protip to men reading this: If you’re talking to a woman, and she tells you the salary she’s being paid, and you think she’s not being paid enough, then absolutely do not under any circumstances harp on at her about how she’s being “taken advantage of”. Or whatever. Because she knows. Trust me, she knows. If she says, “I think I’m being underpaid” you can mildly agree with her and state that structural inequality is bullshit. But otherwise: shut the fuck up. Women do not need you to mansplain the wage gap to us–or, worse, “leaning in”–and there are a tonne of reasons why we take jobs that, to you, might seem “underpaid”. I can almost guarantee you that you do not have firsthand experience with what those reasons are.

But, dudes. If you think a woman is being underpaid, there is one thing you can do: get her a job that pays more. If you own a business, employ her. If you know someone who owns a business, pass her details along. This, is useful. It’s useful because it’s a tangible action that happens far less for women than it does for men. So do it! “Advice”: no.1 Action: yes!

Because, trust me; we’ve all had our fill of men’s “advice”.

  1. I once heard advice described as “the help you give when you don’t actually want to give any help.” Which… yeah. []
2017-07-17T11:38:56+10:0018th August, 2016|Tags: business, culture|