Could it be that plain old mental habit is the reason for gender inequality at work? According to consultant and former businesswoman Caroline Turner, that’s pretty much what it comes down to. In a blog post for the Huffington Post, Turner said that the biggest reason women aren’t proportionately represented in business leadership positions is a set of “mind-sets,” or unconscious ways of viewing the world. The most powerful and deep-rooted of these mind-sets, it seems, is the “double bind,” or the idea that if a woman channels her more feminine energies, she’ll be liked by her coworkers but not seen as a leader. On the other hand, if she allows her masculine energies to lead the way, she’s likely to be judged and disliked. What I take this to mean is that the biggest obstacle we’re up against in the workplace is essentially subconscious stereotyping. Keep reading »
I will be #TeamSineadOConnor forever. Sinead’s a bad-ass feminist thriving in the music industry from way, way back. So much so, in fact, that she’s named her upcoming album, I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss — and that’s the very sexy cover image above. You may remember the phrase “I’m not bossy, I’m the boss” coming out of Beyoncé’s mouth in a PSA for Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In Foundation’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. It turns out that Sinead was so inspired by the “Ban Bossy” campaign that she named her album after it. As she explained on her website:
Just a note to explain the title of my forthcoming album IS taken from Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign.
Originally I had a different title, The Vishnu Room, but a few months back when I saw the phrase ‘I’m not bossy, I’m the boss’ and became aware of the Ban Bossy campaign, I wished I could re-name the album, since indeed it can be tricky being a female boss and I think Sheryl’s campaign is a terribly important one. Keep reading »
LeanIn.org and the Girl Scouts’ campaign to ban the word “bossy” certainly has good intentions. The word “bossy” is often used as a negative term to describe girls and women who speak and act with authority, while it’s rarely used to describe boys and men who act similarly. But is banning the word really the answer, or is changing the perception of it a better approach? But perhaps before we can really answer that question, we should be asking a younger generation of girls what the word bossy means to them. Check out this awesome video from She Knows featuring a bunch of adorable and smart little girls answering that very question. [She Knows]
I am decisively “meh” on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In foundation and its focus on a feminist movement driven by/benefiting capitalism, but I can get behind their latest PSA campaign to ban the word “bossy,” as it’s frequently used to describe and diminish ambitious women. Beyonce is down with it too, appearing in the PSA above (along with Jennifer Garner, Diane von Furstenberg, and Condoleezza Rice, amongst others) in which she states, “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.” I just decided that Beyonce needs to do a song called “Bossy,” with that line as a lyric. And then it can be added to her soundboardt. Please? [NYMag.com]
Mass media (along with [Sheryl] Sandberg) is telling us that by sheer strength of will and staying power, any woman so inclined can work hard and climb the corporate ladder all the way to the top. Shrewdly, Sandberg acknowledges that not all women desire to rise to the top, asserting that she is not judging women who make different choices. However, the real truth is that she is making judgments about the nature of women and work – that is what the book is fundamentally about. Her failure to confront the issue of women acquiring wealth allows her to ignore concrete systemic obstacles most women face inside the workforce. And by not confronting the issue of women and wealth, she need not confront the issue of women and poverty. She need not address the ways extreme class differences make it difficult for there to be a common sisterhood based on shared struggle and solidarity.
It’s never too late to hear from bell hooks! The author, feminist and social justice activist just penned a review of Sheryl Sandberg‘s best-selling book Lean In, which many have celebrated for encouraging women to break the corporate glass ceiling, and it is on point. I read Lean In and while I found it had some interesting and helpful advice for someone like myself (a white chick in a managerial position at a media company), I was also bothered by how much more hoopla surrounded its publication in comparison to the many other truly radical and revolutionary books from feminist thinkers who take women of all races and economic statuses into consideration. bell hooks full review of Lean In is well worth a read — or three. [Feminist Wire]