Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Double Standards? Perception or Myth We Have to Deal with it

Who holds whom to a different standard? There was an article published yesterday about the removal of Chief Financial Officer, Erin Callan from Lehman Brothers from her position after the lose of $2.8B in a quarter. The male COO/President was also removed from his position. The article raises questions as to whether women are dealt with differently and need to achieve higher results or judged more harshly when they fail, however the article doesn't say that Erin was treated inappropriately, but with so few women in high positions, when one is removed from responsibilities it does rapidly reduce the percentage of women in top positions.

I read in 'Why Women Mean Business' recently and was disheartened to learn that women aren't willing to apply for a job until their skills fit almost 100% with the job descriptioni, whereas a man will apply when he has 60% of the skills (NOTE: I need to confirm the numbers, but my memory has them pegged around that order of magnitude). If that wasn't bad enough hiring managers (didn't say whether malel or female) are interested in women's resumes when they have most of the skills in the job requirement but will show interest in men's resumes when they have a lot fewer of the skills for the job requirement.

So where does that leave us?

  • Have courage to apply for jobs we might not think we're suitable for.

  • Be confident in our applications.

  • And work our networks to get the best opportunity for filling the roles we want.

We could choose to wait for the world to become a fair place but that doesn't happen in our time frame.

I also recommend visiting http://careerwomaninc.com/ where Lisa Quast does an honest job of explaining how she has built her career to become Executive Vice President of Strategy for Royal Philips Electonics.

1 comment:

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