Do you see this as an unusual volume of good news for gender equity?
I got weepy when Hillary Clinton locked up the nomination for president, not for political reasons but because it is historical. I celebrate what it says about the progress of women and what it does to our images of leadership.
Yes, there is progress in seeing more women at leadership levels in business; but the pace remains glacial. We need to understand the reasons at the deepest level – so we can pick up the pace and capture the known benefits. I was invited to post a blog on the London School of Economics Business Review. I used the opportunity to express my thoughts on the root cause. I hope you’ll read it!
Women in the corporate workplace have had lots of press lately. First, the September issue of Fortune magazine with its list of the 50 most powerful women. Then came the report by Lean In and McKinsey & Company, Women in the Workplace 2015, and Sheryl Sandberg’s summary of the report in the Wall Street Journal. It’s a mixed bag of positive and negative. Let’s take the “glass half full” view and celebrate 50 incredibly powerful women.
New research confirms what we know. Being one of very few women in a “male-dominated” organization or field can be stressful. Researchers found high levels of the stress hormone cortisol (“linked with later negative health outcomes”) in women in this situation. Even in industries where women are well represented, men dominate upper levels of management. It is stressful to walk the tightrope of the “double bind” and work to be heard and seen as competent. So my guess is that this research is applicable to many many women in business.