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Women Refusing to Hire Women



Women Might Not Be the Best Bosses... But They're Not the Greatest Employees, Either

Posted: 03/20/2013 2:41 pm

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Amanda has been an in-demand recruiter for tech companies for twenty years, most recently as a supervisor to a dozen other recruiters. Recruiting can be highly competitive -- most work strictly on commission -- but also collaborative. She's often helped co-workers, as well as her reports, find leads, and they've done the same for her. The men have, that is. The employees Amanda reports consistently having the most trouble with are women. "I've found my female colleagues and reports are generally less willing to help one another out," she says. "They tend to argue back against whatever direction I give, and seem to take critiques personally. They don't want my help, and certainly don't want to reciprocate."

I recently wrote about the increase in the numbers of 'queen bees' in the workplace, women who aim to undermine or push aside their female employees out of insecurity, competitiveness, or some inherent unwillingness to help out other women. As more and more females rise to management positions, their same sex employees are reporting with greater frequency incidents of bullying, verbal abuse, and job sabotage. This may be why, according to Gallup, American employees prefer their bosses male, and not by a small margin.

But while it's easy -- or, at least, commonplace -- to blame women on top for being over-demanding despots and unwilling mentors, is that the reality? Not quite. The truth is that intolerance among women is entirely mutual, and women are just as difficult for women to employ as they are for women to report to.

Female subordinates are often less respectful of and deferential to their female bosses than they are to their male bosses. They question more, push back, and expect a certain level of familiarity or camaraderie that they don't expect from the men. This speaks to the long tradition of women being notoriously hypercritical of one another, an assertion proven by science: A study published in the journal Psychological Science concluded that women form a negative view of other women in their lives -- including friends, coworkers, and, yes, bosses -- far more quickly and freely than men do of other men.

Like in the case of Maria, a young lawyer who reported having tremendous difficulty hiring a secretary. "They all seemed to want to mother me, and not in a good way," said Maria. "When I directed them -- nicely, I thought -- to perform certain tasks, or refused to engage with them in more than a minute or so of chit-chat, I'd get these looks of hurt. Like I'd run over their cat." They'd make comments about the number of suitors who'd call Maria at the office and about her skirt lengths, then stomp off in a huff if she asked when a report might be ready. "And" said Maria, "you know they'd never say anything to the partner down the hall about his too-tight pants!" Finally, she hired a 23-year-old guy.

Research confirms that female employees hold their female managers to different standards than they do their male managers, as noted in a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Management. They're more likely to reject female bosses who behave in a traditionally managerial way, or "like a man," but when the manager is a man? Not an issue. This may be because we're still stuck on old societal expectations about the role of women serving men. Or it may be that some women use the occasion of a female boss's success to turn the critical eye on themselves. When that doesn't feel good, they turn it back on "the bitch in the corner office," like, perhaps, in Amanda's case.

Being a female boss is a classic catch-22. In order for women to succeed, they have to be different, extraordinary, and not too emotional. But in order for them to be respected by their female employees, it seems these women also need to be relatable, likable, and "just like everyone else." When they're not, there's major backlash. Just look at Marisa Mayer, who has been widely criticized for her decision to ban telecommuting, a decision she made in order to benefit the company -- in other words, in order to do the job she was hired to do.

Another woman I met, Lorri, describes the all-female department she leads at a high school as "the second coming of the cheerleader squad." From the day she started, Lorri has felt as if she were constantly being judged: for her decisions, for her shoes. She heard how the women she oversaw talked about other female teachers; she could only imagine how they talked about her. When Lorri implemented new restrictions in response to district-wide budget cuts, including a limit on expenses and a mandatory twice a month after-school commitment to students, the entire department stopped speaking to her. Meanwhile, she noted that the male department heads at the school were able to implement the changes with minimal griping from their female subordinates. "They knew it was a decision that came from somewhere else," Lorri told me. "But in my department, it was as if they just wanted some excuse to turn on me."

Likely, they did. There are many women who fit the profile of the queen bee. But women are also likely to label one another as such when they aren't, according to the British Journal of Management study. Women often expect women bosses to run the office like they might run a household. When they run it like an actual business -- as in the case of Mayer -- many women feel betrayed. Maria often believed the female secretaries regarded her as cold and impersonal. She didn't want to be, but she did need to get things done. And, frankly, she needed their help with matters other than her skirt lengths.

Do successful women have an obligation to be liked? No more so than successful men. Nor do they have a responsibility to represent all women, or even some women. As we look at the rise of females in charge, there's been speculation of a future of kinder, gentler work environments. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won't. But guaranteed, the onus isn't on the queen bee alone. It's on her worker bees as well.





According to this article, almost half of American employees are women who earn an average of "just 71.4 cents for every dollar earned by a man".  So firing all these women and replacing them with men would, overnight, increase GDP by $2.4 trillion $16.8 trillion, an increase of 16.7%:

X = GDP of women

Y = GDP of men

2x (.5X + .5Y) = $14.4 trillion

X = .714Y

.5 x .714Y + .5Y = $7.2 trillion

.857Y = $7.2 trillion

Y = $8.4 trillion

X = $6.0 trillion

Another way to look at this is that allowing women to enter the workforce depressed GDP by 14.3%, making the US non-competitive in almost every industry, including industries that WE started.  Anyone in sales or marketing, or management or executive positions, realizes that all it takes to lose an order to a competitor is a 2% price disadvantage, so a nationwide price disadvantage 7 TIMES greater than that is all it takes to make us non-competitive in the "global economy".

But that's just the tip of the iceberg, as evidenced by the refusal of women EMPLOYERS to hire women EMPLOYEES based in their tendency to file discrimination lawsuits against their own companies, thus biting the hand that feeds them.

Women set to outnumber men at work in America

One person's adversity is often another's opportunity. That's certainly proving to be the case in recession-hit North America. A spurt in firing of men and hiring of women has resulted in women now outnumbering men in the Canadian workforce, accounting for 50.9% of the country's 14 million salaried workers.

In the US, too, women now hold 49.8% of that country's 132 million jobs and are projected to cross the 50% mark by the first quarter of 2010 when the US will - according to President Barack Obama - come out of recession.

American daily USA Today has described this as a historic reversal caused by long-term changes in women's roles and job losses for men during recession.

''Women are gaining the majority of jobs in the few sectors of the economy that are growing,'' the newspaper said. As a matter of fact, at the current pace, women could even outnumber male workers in the US by November this year.

Across the border in Canada, there are 160,000 more women in jobs than men, according to The Toronto Star.

Nobody in Canada really noticed when in 2007 women first outnumbered men in the workforce for three months from February to April. But this year, women's dominance in paid employment (50.9%) clearly marks a turning point. This is the first time it has lasted this long and the differences have been significantly high.

In the US, gender transformation is particularly visible in local governments' 14.6 million work force. Cities, schools, water authorities and other local jurisdictions have cut out 86,000 men from payrolls during the recession while adding 167,000 women.
The postal service is cutting tens of thousands of unionised, blue collar jobs dominated by men while new hires are expanding in teaching and other fields dominated by college educated women.

But analysts say these figures could be red herrings and that the historic milestones hold little promise for women in their longstanding battle for economic equality.

The Toronto Star said women still make up about 70% of part-time workers and 60% of minimum wage earners in Canada.

"Nearly 40% are in precarious jobs that are poorly paid with little or no benefits," it said. And the average full-time female worker earns just 71.4 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

In US, the boost has come due to massive job cuts in male-dominated professions such as construction and manufacturing. Through June, men lost 74% of the 6.4 million jobs erased since the recession began. Men have lost over 3 million jobs in construction and manufacturing alone.

Labour economist Heidi Hartmann says the change reflects the growing importance of women as wage earners, but it doesn't show full equality. "On average, women work fewer hours than men, hold more part-time jobs and earn 77% of what men make," she said. Men also still dominate higher-paying executive



July 17, 2004

Sex cases turn women bosses against women

LEADING businesswomen have called for a cap on sexual discrimination awards, claiming that the risk of being sued for damages by a female employee has made them more wary of hiring other women.

They say that a string of recent high-profile sex discrimination cases that has cost companies millions of pounds in damages and out of court settlements were sometimes no more than cynical attempts by female employees to “make a fast buck” before they retire and will force firms to think twice before taking on a woman in the future.

Their protests come as a leading employment lawyer told The Times that he encourages women to “throw in” sexual discrimination claims to grievance procedures to increase the damages.

Ronnie Fox, senior partner at the employment law firm Fox Williams said: “What we say whenever a woman comes to us with a grievance is, ‘Was there an element of sexual discrimination? Why not just throw it in so we can claim more money.’ ”

Now leading City and former City female employers have told The Times that they have become wary of hiring women because of the threat of what they say is unjustified litigation. They also claimed that the “cynical exploitation” of the laws on sexual discrimination was causing widespread resentment among women working in the City, many of whom have spent their careers rising through the ranks unhampered by sexism.

Leading the charge is Ruth Lea, an economist who worked in the City for ten years before becoming head of policy at the Institute of Directors and subsequently Director of the Centre for Policy Studies. “It is the repercussions (of these cases) one worries about,” she said.

“The idea that these women suffer millions of pounds worth of trauma is completely ridiculous. Where there is a genuine discrimination case fair enough, but the stuff we have been seeing lately is very counterproductive.

“Managers are now more reluctant to take women on. I certainly would be.” Ms Lea also accused some women of taking their employers to court “as a retirement policy” and called for a cap on the amount of damages for which a claimant is eligible.

“Instead of thinking ‘I’ve got to prove myself because otherwise I will be discriminated against’, now women think, justifiably, that equality is their right,” she said.

But she said that some women thought that they could exploit their gender for gain. “Taking these cases to court is sheer exploitation based on the fact that discrimination cases have no limits to them. I think that some limitation should be put on them and that there should be some sort of cap. At the moment it is what economists call ‘profit maximising’.”

Ms Lea’s comments were backed by several high-ranking women in the City, including Emma Weir, who worked in the bond market in the 1980s and is one of the City’s most respected headhunters.

Ms Weir has turned down a request to be an expert witness on behalf of four women claiming sexual discrimination beceause she believes that the claims are not justified. “I am not saying that you don’t get the odd guy who behaves irresponsibly but this is one man’s actions, not the firm’s,” she said. “Meanwhile, you have the odd woman who decides she feels aggrieved by a man who commented on her bottom at the office party and wants to make a quick buck before she retires.”

The call for a cap was condemned by Denise Kingsmill, one of Britain’s most respected businesswomen who set up her own City law firm and conducted an extensive review into women’s employment three years ago.

“Of course the amount of compensation is justified,” she said. “The salaries are so good that the damages are bound to be high. I don’t think they should be capped.”

An Equal Opportunities Commission report said yesterday that there was still a 40 per cent pay gap between men and women working in the financial sector.



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Modified Wednesday, March 20, 2013

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