Thursday, August 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Women and work: There’s always a job for social engineers

By
From page A2 | May 15, 2012 |

Are these attempts at social engineering ever going to end?

Apparently not when it comes to women and the workforce.

To review: Women now make up the majority of recipients of undergraduate, graduate and even doctoral degrees awarded in the U.S. each year. On average, young college-educated women in most major cities out-earn their male peers, often significantly. The list goes on.

Still, The Wall Street Journal convened a conference recently on Women in the Economy. “Unlocking the full potential of women at work” was the title of a white paper commissioned by the Journal for the conference. Produced by Joanna Barsh and Lareina Yee of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company, it’s well-researched — and fascinating. But probably not for reasons Barsh and Yee want it to be.

Sure, it had some interesting findings, including that women don’t typically ask to be promoted into “stretch” roles like male peers do, nor are they as likely to seek mentors at work.

Note to my daughters: Be prepared to step it up in these areas if corporate success is what you want.

But are women allowed to want what they want?

The authors note that while there is still a gender disparity in corporate America at the highest levels, the vast majority of the companies they researched seek to advance women, even into those highest levels. That’s just good business sense. So, for the most part, the authors weren’t beating up on American business.

However, they were busy subtly beating up on women. For instance, most men and women midlevel employees, they found, desire to get to the next level in their organization. But 36 percent of men and only 18 percent of women answered yes to the question, “If anything were possible, I would choose to advance to C-level (CEO, CFO, etc.) management.”

Uh-oh. Wrong answer for the gals.

The authors found that in spite of an investment in women at many firms, frequently “. . . women opted for staff roles, quit, retired or even settled in. Hard-won advances to the executive committee were often followed by departures.” Note some key information: Firms are investing in women and trying to get them to go higher and further. Still, women often freely choose to say “no, thanks,” sometimes after they’ve gotten to the top itself. And that’s a problem, say these authors.

But a problem for whom?

Barsh and Yee reiterated what they found in a previous report, that there are four main “stubborn barriers” to women’s advancement, including lifestyle choices. So, for instance, a woman’s choice to forgo pursuing the brass ring so she can spend more time and energy on her family — a choice no matter how well-informed and free — is now a barrier to be overcome, and a stubborn one at that.

A second is structural. The authors say that sometimes a CEO’s commitment to women was not borne out by the number of women advanced at the firm. But what if that’s the choice of the women, and not the CEO? The third and fourth barriers are individual and institutional mindsets: “Used to successful executives being — and acting like — men, leaders inadvertently hold women to the same standards of behavior.” That is, expecting them to actively pursue “stretch” roles, which they don’t do as often as the guys.

Ahh, now we’re talking. We agree that men and women are different.

What the elites don’t like is how these differences often play out. In fact, the authors note that these four barriers are deeply intertwined and “even harder to eliminate than we had thought.” Ouch.

Look, many women simply choose to slow down or change their work life in favor of their families. Ironically, when a man does the same, the elite culture praises him. Women, well, that has to be fixed.

The conclusion said it all: The authors note that helping talented women develop and advance helps companies, and no doubt women, too. “But,” they write, “too many women don’t want to reach the top. Many love what they do and believe they are making a difference where they are.”

To certain folks, this is a problem to be solved, not a cause for celebration. So then, we do know one thing for sure: When it comes to gender differences, there will always be jobs for the social engineers.

Betsy Hart is the author of the new ebook, “From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports).” Reach her through hartmailbox-mycolumn@yahoo.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Railroad crossing stalemate continues

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
First day back to school brings laughter, jitters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Potrero Hills Landfill legal appeals exhausted

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Breakfast after the Bell wins support

By Mayrene Bates | From Page: A2, 3 Comments

 
Suisun city employees get pay raise

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield candidates hear about lean, nimble city staff

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Free e-waste collection to benefit Scarlet Brigade

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Fairfield mayor to appear at GOP dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Girls on the Run seeks volunteer life coaches

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

College finalizes police department takeover, OKs bond plan

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

 
Weather for Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Beheading spurs new attacks on Islamic militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 9 Comments

 
Militants use British killer as propaganda

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Governor criticizes new-hire pension enhancements

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US mission to rescue hostages in Syria failed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

US official: More airstrikes in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
School sorry for making special ed kids sort trash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Police seek mystery pair in selfies after burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Teens deny threatening boy in school shooting plot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Panel OKs state librarian despite initial concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Holder says he understands mistrust of police

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Liberian slums barricaded as Ebola sets new record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
North Korea insults John Kerry over his looks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ukrainian govt troops take over much of Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Picture emerges of officer in Ferguson shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 8 Comments

Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
CHP says officer may face serious beating charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

8 homes destroyed, 1,500 threatened by wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Drought has state debating its unregulated pumping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

We’re spending way too much on raising our kids

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A7

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 21, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

California needs pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 2 Comments

 
Tell the story, don’t be it

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Aug. 21, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Why do parents drink alcohol after their children’s games?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
And the Emmy winners are…? We’re happy to guess!

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Aniston, Hamm, Hudson set to Stand Up to Cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Emmys: Billy Crystal to pay tribute to Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6 | Gallery

.

Sports

A’s stumble and must regroup with Angels coming

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders FB Reece’s injury not as bad as feared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Peavy pitches Giants to 8-3 win over Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
WR Stevie Johnson adds depth to 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fairfield boxer Avila set to put perfect 15-0 record on the line

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants win protest, rain-shortened game to resume Thursday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

US routs Dominicans in exhibition as Rose rests

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Schilling blames chewing tobacco for mouth cancer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Reality check for Phelps at Pan Pacific Champs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kent State starting center dies at 21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams seeded No. 1 at US Open; Halep 2nd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart skipping 3rd straight race after Ward’s death

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Las Vegas spoils Mo’ne’s night, beats Philly 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Sharks F Torres undergoes surgery on right knee

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Sports on TV for Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B4

.

Business

BofA reaches $17B settlement with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Brine firm sues over biblical fracking billboard

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Apple’s stock bounces back to hit a new high

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
.

Obituaries

David G. Gibson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Charles (Chuck) H. Doty

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

George ‘Wayne’ Hause

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sharon Ilene Boyd

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9