Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Gender discrimination training - still lacking?

March 8th marked International Women’s Day, a worldwide celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women. The day also brings to light the constant struggle women still face in the workplace to shatter “glass ceilings” across the corporate globe.

I read an interesting blog post today on Linda Richardson’s R SalesBlog that brings up a great question regarding the perception of women in the workplace.
A recent report by Catalyst titled “Damned If You Do, Doomed If You Don’t,” surveyed 1,231 senior executives from U.S. and Europe. It found that women who act in ways that are consistent with gender stereotypes (defined as focusing “on work relationships” and expressing “concern for other people’s perspective”) are considered less competent. The research also found that women who act in ways seen as more “male,” (defined as “act assertively, focusing on work task, displaying ambition,”) are seen as “too tough” and unfeminine.

The conclusion was that women can’t win. Data also shows women don’t advance as much as men and their pay is lower on average.
Personal perceptions are a tough thing to change, but we can try to teach our companies to accept different personalities and leadership styles in the workplace.

What do you think? Is there is a void in the industry for better gender discrimination training?

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