Comments on: The boardroom mystique http://blogs.reuters.com/lucy-marcus/2013/02/22/the-boardroom-mystique/ Wed, 06 Mar 2013 09:49:44 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: S_M_D http://blogs.reuters.com/lucy-marcus/2013/02/22/the-boardroom-mystique/#comment-495 Wed, 06 Mar 2013 09:49:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/lucy-marcus/?p=206#comment-495 When I was considering careers and which industry to work in, I decided against manufacturing because I didn’t want to deal with such a male oriented environment; where every day at work would feel like a battle. I liked the work and I think I could even have been good at it – if I didn’t have to constantly prove my worth to male colleagues and bosses.

I think this may also be one of the reasons why these industries are so slow to accept women – it is only the women who are willing to fight it out that will even attempt to get to those senior roles. I would not like to be on a board with someone like Simon Murray. And as long as there are other industries where I am more welcome, I would consider it their loss and not mine.

Maybe the easier way to achieve a better gender representation would be to encourage women to be so good that they can’t ignore you. How many women are encouraged to get into to mining? How many are encouraged to become board members in any industry? If half the options for board members were women, no one could get away with an all male board. It will happen someday, but I wish we’d make an effort to make it happen faster.

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By: PartyZova http://blogs.reuters.com/lucy-marcus/2013/02/22/the-boardroom-mystique/#comment-486 Mon, 25 Feb 2013 13:08:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/lucy-marcus/?p=206#comment-486 It is telling that there has been no outpouring from the usual readers of these Reuters opinion pieces. There are any number of possibilities, but the one I reject is that the topic and effort to address it are unworthy of response. I’m afraid there is no simple answer, and even something along the lines of the Rooney Rule (given its apparent or presumed success) might be unlikely to solve the problem set forth by Marcus (and, 50 years earlier, by Friedan, in different terms).

My response to Simon Murray’s “Pregnant ladies have nine months off” remark was an involuntary guffaw, but why I should have been surprised at such ignorance, during a time when a U.S. Representative would have so wooly an understanding of human physiology that he would believe (and say out loud, no less) that when a woman is raped, her body can prevent conception (no doubt by some miracle).

Once upon a time, African Americans were not much seen on television, especially in advertisements. At some point (by whatever mechanism), that changed, and I felt, when I began to see this change, that the effects would be more pervasive than any affirmative action program in any milieu, on grounds that if people get used to seeing people who look different from “us” (nonminority Americans) doing the same sorts of things we do in the same ways we do them, then people might begin to realize that these groups are not so very different from us that we need to fear them. (Middle-class folks doing middle-class things.) On television today, when there’s an ad for a cleaning product, the likelihood is that the person doing the cleaning is a middle-class housewife. That isn’t going to get it done, any more than seeing women in middle management on TV ads will.

One area of hope, one place of ascendency for women is in U.S. politics, but I notice that South Korea has a woman as president before we (U.S.) do. Maybe that will come in 2016, but in the meantime, it doesn’t solve the boardroom problem, because why? Because all those old white men are going to have to die off (or they’re going to have to have daughters for whom they wish more future than simply becoming some powerful white man’s wife).

Anyway, maybe some of the usual responders were just sitting at their keyboards baffled for an answer, and none came. But the article deserves at least a response. We have to start somewhere, 50 years on.

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