• Caryl Rivers

    Caryl Rivers is a College of Communication professor of journalism; she can be reached at caryl@bu.edu. Profile

  • Rosalind C. Barnett

    Rosalind C. Barnett is a senior scholar at Wellesley College; she can be reached at rb101@wellesley.edu. Profile

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There are 15 comments on POV: Women’s Rights? Yeah, Right

  1. Thank you for posting this. It’s a great, although hard to swallow, wake up call to all of us entering the workforce – whether it’s women negotiating their professional salaries, or men working in teams and management boards with other women. We women have made strides in general, but we still have a LONG way to go!

  2. Brave article, it really resonates with me. If you add one more variable to the equation, woman & minority the inequality becomes more obvious. But what its even more difficult to tackle is the fact that if you want to be assertive and position yourself, it is seen as been aggressive but if a man does exactly the same thing he is energetic and creative, as you said a catch-22.

  3. “Cutting-edge new research tells us that a whole network of land mines is exploding women’s progress” -I’d love to see the cutting edge new research.

    Usually people who want to get a point across without getting ripped to shreds try and have a little more of an objective stance and less of a womenly, emotional attachment.

  4. Wow, I really thought us guys, subconsciously would pretty much be the sole reason for this. But it seems women also have an almost equal blame for this. The fix for this is more of a reevaluation of how we look at people, which may be hard, but can be corrected if directly faced. I mean, I never even knew that more assertive women are less liked. Next time, I would be sure if hiring a woman, to be sure I wasn’t doing this. I’m sure most other guys would feel better in those job search, less face it, if this trend continued. It does make I guy feel less stressed and reassured to know this, but we must let our consciences lead us in the quest for job equality. It is the same thing with women in the military. They absolutely believe (as do I), that they have the right to be on the same place on the battlefield as a man. But ask them if that means they should enter themselves for a draft, and many say no. People obviously don’t want this, as it is better for them to say no, but with their consciences, they know true equality means swallowing some unpleasant truths. Meaning this is the situation of guys in the workplace, and we must swallow the unpleasant truth that our superiority, however satisfying, is not fair to women, and must be changed.

  5. “Both females and males fell into the trap of giving higher marks to the male team member.”

    If both men and women believe that the man in a two person male-female team, perhaps this is more of an issue of a culture in which women discourage each other from being outgoing and speaking up? Just like how men still dog each other for acting “soft”, women probably criticize each other for being “unwomanly”. This is something best solved by women themselves — not a male outsider. And part of those behaviors – both men’s tendency towards not being “soft” and women’s tendency towards “going with the flow” – might be biological.

    If that’s the case, then we’re only making men and women feel bad about aspects of themselves that are nearly impossible to change.

      1. “Biological”… I do not think so. That is an extremely outdated approach. We need to think of it as how society is teaching this and how to stop it. It is a sad truth that success of a woman is harder to swallow than that of a man.

  6. My question is what to do when the one delegating is a female boss, she’s the one taking credit when all goes well and pointing the finger when it doesn’t. She’s taken this proven ‘male’ model and applied it to whatever position she’s held. I’ve heard from others who worked with her. I have female friends in mid-career who are experiencing the very same issue and it’s so unecessary. To what end? Shouldn’t we be helping one another get paid for what we’re worth? Why do their bosses let them get away with it? Male or female, those who take credit and downplay another’s compentency for their own gain, ultimately hurts the success of the operation and the performance of individuals (even those who are witnessing this happen) and reflects poorly on the company. It does come from the top, so if upper management allows it, nothing will change for those making their way up. I say change will need to first happen from the top down. Hillary for President!

    1. Wow, that is oppositely sexist, and I’m not saying an opinion on Hillary, but you can elect her solely because she is a woman and hope she can change cultural aspects. That really is an ignorant and misandrist assertion.

  7. I’d read these statistics before, and they really are scary. I most certainly think we should think and act on this a lot more often than we do.

    Nonetheless, one factor that I always find lacking in this article is the whole issue about having children. For some reason, it is socially accepted that the woman take some time off, and is expected to be an unproductive professional for a period of time. Equally, it is expected that the father will have little-to-no disturbance in his productivity, but that instead, he is expected to be an unproductive member of the household (i.e. not taking a big leave, and leaving the mother to do most of the heavy lifting).

    I think we SERIOUSLY need to revisit paternal leave. I think Maternal and Paternal leaves should be of equal length. Anything less than that, and we skew to having women spending more time at home and men at work. Consequently, women will always be less competitive in the marketplace ceteris paribus.

    1. Even when maternity leave is not factored into the equation women still earn lower salaries then men of comparable education and work experience.

      The United States is the only first world nation that does not have a federally mandated maternity or paternity leave. When women take maternity leave they are going on disability. Yes, pregnancy is considered a disability. If she is lucky her employer has a maternity leave package most do not. Other first world countries have federally mandated maternity leaves for at lease a year at full pay with their jobs held for them until they return. This lack of maternity leave is one of several reasons why child infant mortality in the United States ranks with that of third world countries. The family medical leave act gives you 12 weeks of Unpaid leave but really who can go 12 weeks without pay?

      1. Jen,

        FMLA leave for the birth or adoption of a child is not disability. They are completely separate. It is not considered a disability under the Family Medical Leave Act.

        At BU for example a mother can use paid sick and vacation time during this 12 weeks.

        Your claim that this is a cause of infant mortality in the U.S.is unsubstantiated very dubious rankings btw).

        Further, what employer can afford to pay someone for a year for not working? Not only does it leave a necessary job vacant it makes no sense. No one should get paid for not working. This type of entitlement is also one reason so many “first world” countries are in economic collapse. Take a look at such policies in Greece for an example.

  8. The most telling statement in this article is that diversity programs “don’t work, because they don’t have strong support at the top.” Guess who is at the top? White, middle aged men otherwise known as the “pale, male and stale.” These men actually believe that their companies are meritocracies, that the best qualified individuals are in the positions of power and if women aren’t there it is because they either aren’t qualified or they don’t want to be there. They believe this despite numerous and extensive studies comparing wages/salaries, education and accomplishments that prove otherwise. What to do? Perhaps we should follow the example of Norway, Spain and Sweden and legislate gender quotas in the boardroom but take it further and legislate gender quotas in upper management and the executive suite too.

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