Monday, April 27, 2015
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 [email protected]

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

County action speeds Solano fairgrounds plan to next phase

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Paint the Town Purple; and Roxie

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

 
City Coach hosts first block party

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Bid Corderos Park, city staff recommends

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

White minister fought for civil rights in the south

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Farmers markets herald return of summer

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Crash claims life of Concord teen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Denim and Diamonds fundraiser set May 16

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4

Biz Buzz: Budweiser kicks off new parks campaign

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Dutch Bros. plans ALS fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

Biz Buzz: Company schedules pasta class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
 
Biz Buzz: NorthBay offers extended hours for primary care

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

Biz Buzz: Retail store helps those with autism

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B7

 
Biz Buzz: Committee schedules contractors breakfast

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B7

.

US / World

Picture it: A 1,000-year exposure showing a changing Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Quake agony revealed quietly on trip from Nepal airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Corinthian Colleges to shut down all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
No time to lose: Global response to Nepal quake gears up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Japan’s prime minister goes to US to showcase close ties

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Israel says airstrike on Syrian border targeted militants

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Family, friends in Baltimore mourn death of arrested man

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Batman’ killer studied brain disorders before mass murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Image from the quake: Heavy damage in Nepal ancient city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fighting rages in Yemen’s 3rd-largest city, strikes continue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Mountaineers, guides stream from Everest after avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Putin accuses US of supporting separatists in Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Late spring complicates already perilous amphibian migration

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: Monday, April 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Parenting: How to set boundaries on screen time

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Horoscope: April 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscope: April 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My husband doesn’t want me to redecorate home he had with first wife

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

TVGrid April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

Warriors confident after sweep of Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants-Rockies game postponed by rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Justin Rose wins in New Orleans for 7th PGA Tour title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Wall, Beal lead Wiz past Raptors 125-94 in Game 4 for sweep

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul, Clippers even series with 114-105 win over Spurs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ko wins Swinging Skirts for 2nd straight year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Motorcycle rider from Livermore killed in Nevada race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Billy Andrade and Joe Durant win Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cavs sweep Celts as James scores 27 in 101-93 victory

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
It’s here: Fight week begins with Pacquiao caravan to Vegas

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

American Pharoah completes final pre-Kentucky Derby workout

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Newgarden claims first IndyCar Series win not far from home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Frank and Ernest April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C. April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Cryptoquote April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Sudoku April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword April 27

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7