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Women, The Workplace, And ‘Second Generation’ Gender Bias

They call it “Second Generation” gender bias.  We look at women and the workplace now.

This April 16, 2013 photo provided by Wix Lounge shows group facilitator Franne McNeal, right, standing, and organizer Mary Dove, standing left, addressing women at a "Lean In" meeting in New York. The group is inspired by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In" which seeks to empower women in the workplace. (AP Photo/Wix Lounge, Galo Delgado)

This April 16, 2013 photo provided by Wix Lounge shows group facilitator Franne McNeal, right, standing, and organizer Mary Dove, standing left, addressing women at a “Lean In” meeting in New York. The group is inspired by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In” which seeks to empower women in the workplace. (AP Photo/Wix Lounge, Galo Delgado)

American women have come on strong all over the place.  But at the tip-top of the corporate workplace world, the Fortune 500, it’s still just 4.2 percent female CEOs.  And that under-representation at the top gets echoed all over the workplace world.

Why is that?  The answer is complicated.  But one piece of it is now being called “second generation” gender bias.  Subtle and not-so-subtle dynamics at work that push women away from the corner office.  How’s it work?  We’ll ask.

This hour, On Point:  second generation gender bias and women in the American work-place.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Deborah Kolb, professor emerita at the School of Management for Simmons College, where she focuses on gender issues in negotiation and leadership. Her latest piece (co-authored with Herminia Ibarra and Robin Ely) is: “Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers, out this month in Harvard Business Review.

Cheryl Francis, co-founder and co-chairwoman of Corporate Leadership Center. She is a director of three corporate boards: Aon Corporation, Morningstar, and HNI Corporation.

Amy Anuk, senior vice president of business development at Encore Capital Group in San Diego, California.

From Tom’s Reading List

Harvard Business Review: Women Rising: The Unseen Barrier — “A significant body of research[…] shows that for women, the subtle gender bias that persists in organizations and in society disrupts the learning cycle at the heart of becoming a leader. This research also points to some steps that companies can take in order to rectify the situation. It’s not enough to identify and instill the “right” skills and competencies as if in a social vacuum. The context must support a woman’s motivation to lead and also increase the likelihood that others will recognize and encourage her efforts—even when she doesn’t look or behave like the current generation of senior executives.”

Los Angeles Times: 15% of women report experiencing workplace bias in Gallup poll — “Fifteen percent of American women believe they have been passed over for a promotion or some other opportunity at work because of their gender, new polling from Gallup shows. Gallup also found that 13% thought they were denied a raise at some point because they were women.”

Forbes: Female Leaders, 3 Strategies For Success In The Workplace — “Women who wield power and act assertively often experience backlash that can hurt their rise to the top. When working to incorporate the necessary masculine behaviors, such as being assertive, into their leadership styles to achieve their career goals, female leaders often encounter two distinct prejudices:  (1) women are perceived as poorer leaders relative to men and (2) women who overtly demonstrate their competence in this masculine domain incur social punishment.”

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