READING ROOM ARTICLES:
Martina Navratilova: What Serena Got Wrong
by Martina Navratilova,
Opinion | The New York Times
Just because the guys might be able to get away with it doesn't mean it's acceptable.
Serena Williams has part of it right. There is a huge double standard for women when it comes to how bad behavior is punished — and not just in tennis.
But in her protests against an umpire during the United States Open final on Saturday, she also got part of it wrong. I don’t believe it’s a good idea to apply a standard of “If men can get away with it, women should be able to, too.” Rather, I think the question we have to ask ourselves is this: What is the right way to behave to honor our sport and to respect our opponents?
At Nike, Revolt led by women leads to exodus of male executives
By Julie Creswell, Kevin Draper and Rachel Abrams
The New York Times
For too many women, life inside Nike had turned toxic.
There were the staff outings that started at restaurants and ended at strip clubs. A supervisor who bragged about the condoms he carried in his backpack. A boss who tried to forcibly kiss a female subordinate, and another who referenced a staff member’s breasts in an email to her.
Then there were blunted career paths. Women were made to feel marginalized in meetings and were passed over for promotions. They were largely excluded from crucial divisions like basketball. When they complained to human resources, they said, they saw little or no evidence that bad behavior was being penalized.
Finally, fed up, a group of women inside Nike’s Beaverton, Ore., headquarters started a small revolt.
Covertly, they surveyed their female peers, inquiring whether they had been the victim of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. Their findings set off an upheaval in the executive ranks of the world’s largest sports footwear and apparel company.
Women and the Labrynth of Leadership
by Alice Eagly and Linda L. Carli,
The Harvard Business Review
That there is a problem is not in doubt. Despite years of progress by women in the workforce (they now occupy more than 40% of all managerial positions in the United States), within the C-suite they remain as rare as hens’ teeth. Consider the most highly paid executives of Fortune 500 companies—those with titles such as chairman, president, chief executive officer, and chief operating officer. Of this group, only 6% are women. Most notably, only 2% of the CEOs are women, and only 15% of the seats on the boards of directors are held by women. The situation is not much different in other industrialized countries. In the 50 largest publicly traded corporations in each nation of the European Union, women make up, on average, 11% of the top executives and 4% of the CEOs and heads of boards. Just seven companies, or 1%, of Fortune Magazine’s Global 500 have female CEOs. What is to blame for the pronounced lack of women in positions of power and authority?
In 1986 the Wall Street Journal’s Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt gave the world an answer: “Even those few women who rose steadily through the ranks eventually crashed into an invisible barrier. The executive suite seemed within their grasp, but they just couldn’t break through the glass ceiling.” The metaphor, driven home by the article’s accompanying illustration, resonated; it captured the frustration of a goal within sight but somehow unattainable. To be sure, there was a time when the barriers were absolute. Even within the career spans of 1980s-era executives, access to top posts had been explicitly denied. Consider comments made by President Richard Nixon, recorded on White House audiotapes and made public through the Freedom of Information Act. When explaining why he would not appoint a woman to the U.S. Supreme Court, Nixon said, “I don’t think a woman should be in any government job whatsoever…mainly because they are erratic. And emotional. Men are erratic and emotional, too, but the point is a woman is more likely to be.” In a culture where such opinions were widely held, women had virtually no chance of attaining influential leadership roles.
The Number of Female Chief Executives Is Falling
By Claire Cain Miller
The New York Times
The number of women leading the largest companies has always been small. This year, it got 25 percent smaller.
The reversal is leading to a search beyond the usual explanations for why women don’t become chief executives — things like not being competitive enough, failing to chase opportunities for promotion and choosing work-life balance over high-powered jobs.
That’s because evidence shows that the obstacles for female executives aren’t just because of their individual choices. There are larger forces at work, experts say, rooted in biases against women in power, mothers who work or leaders who don’t fit the mold of the people who led before them.
For many years, it seemed as if the share of women at the top of corporate America would slowly increase over time. The number of women leading companies in the Fortune 500 had grown to 6.4 percent last year, a record high, from 2.6 percent a decade earlier.
The Ugly Truth About Age Discrimination
by Liz Ryan Contributor
"So then the headhunter said something that took my breath away," said my caller, Philip. "He told me that his client looked at my resume and said it looked great, but then he found my LinkedIn profile..."
I was silent. That took my breath away, too.
What is Philip going to do – sue the employer he never met because a third-party recruiter told him that one hiring manager made an inappropriate comment? So-called Failure to Hire cases are notoriously hard to bring and even harder to prove. As long as the organization ends up hiring someone who is qualified for the job, how could Phil ever prove that he was rejected because of his age? It's not as though the organization is going to publish the new hire's age for all the other candidates to see.
Age discrimination is everywhere. I hear more examples of age discrimination than I hear about sex discrimination, racial discrimination and every other kind put together. I expect that's because some employers believe that older workers aren't as nimble or perhaps aren't as easy to train. Some of them undoubtedly worry that an older person is necessarily overqualified, and thus likely to bolt the minute a better job comes along.
Why Women Aren’t C.E.O.s,
According to Women Who Almost Were
by By Susan Chira
The New York Times
It’s not a pipeline problem. It’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers.
A year ago, dressed in suffragette white and addressing a cheering, weeping convention, Hillary Clinton stood for possibility. Now she is a reminder of the limits women continue to confront — in politics and beyond.
More than 40 years after women began pouring into the workplace, only a handful have made it all the way to the top of corporate America. The percentage of chief executives of Fortune 500 companies who are women just passed 6 percent, creeping up (and occasionally dropping back) at a glacial pace.
Why don’t more women get that No. 1 job?
Consider the experiences of the people who know best: Women who were in the running to become No. 1, but didn’t quite make it. The women who had to stop at No. 2.
What their stories show is that in business, as in politics, women who aspire to power evoke far more resistance, both overt and subtle, than they expected would be the case by now.
Book List for September
by Larry Senn
A wide range of feelings play a major role in defining the quality of our lives as well as our personal and professional effectiveness. This is the book to get you going.
by Carol Dweck
After decades of research, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. In this brilliant book, she shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we think about our talents and abilities.
by Barbara Annis
Barbara Annis, the world's leading corporate gender specialist, believes that men and women don't understand each other because they don't appreciate the different ways men and women relate, communicate, problem-solve, and make decisions. In this original, solutions-based book, Annis explains exactly where we differ and how to improve the way we communicate with one another.
Worth Reading by MJM
The Culture Continuum
by Michael Marino | Senn Delaney
Most leaders have heard the expression, “You need to drive your culture or it will drive your business—for better or worse.” This in-depth article walks you through how every business has a culture that is shaped by its leaders.
An Entrepreneurial Exit
Re-Engineering and re-establishing market credibility for a business in the Consulting Industry.