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Old 12-04-2011, 08:28 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: US Northeast
Posts: 6,784
Default Re: Sex and the Eurozone (Daniel Drezner & Megan McArdle)

A relatively minor topic for many, but since no one else is discussing it, I'll mention it. Megan talked about some aspects of gender disparities, salary range, salary negotiation, perception of women in leadership by others, and the phenomenon of speaking up in meetings/classes. I can relate to all of those since I have encountered the same or similar difficulties during my career.

If the person in charge is a man, usually people take it pretty much for granted that everyone has to follow his rules. On the other hand, if it is a woman, there's often or almost always a certain level of challenge by some.

If the man in charge gets fed up or frustrated because a task isn't coming along as expected, an open display of his irritation may work as a call to duty for others. A woman in charge on the other hand, may encounter protests and objections and of course, the feedback of being bitchy or authoritarian, or whathaveyou. If the woman due to a more subdued character tries to stimulate cooperation in a gentle non-authoritarian manner, it's a message that she has no leadership skills and many will take advantage of the situation and try to get away with their own ways of doing things.

Fortunately, these stereotypical responses aren't always present, and sometimes they are only present at the beginning until people settle and accept female authority without resentment.

In the situation of speaking up in classes or meetings, it's interesting how women may patiently wait for their turn to speak, but men tend to interrupt each other in some kind of pace that seems to work well for them. But if a woman tries to do the same, it isn't uncommon that they will be ignored or even resented.

I guess it's all about adjustment to a new dynamic where both men and women have to come out of their traditional roles and find a way to communicate more fairly.

With salary negotiations, it is unlikely that the employer will be too willing to give women much of a break, but there should be regular comparisons of salaries, at least in large organizations to see if there is disparity and find a way of making it more egalitarian.
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