Women prefer male bosses

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
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Women prefer male bosses

Post by Anaxagoras » Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:33 am

Interesting video and article in The Atlantic:

(video)

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/ar ... ce/534213/ (article)

When I reached out to other women to ask whether they’d had similar experiences, some were appalled by the question, as though I were Phyllis Schlafly calling from beyond the grave. But then they would say things like “Well, there was this one time …” and tales of female sabotage would spill forth. As I went about my dozens of interviews, I began to feel like a priest to whom women were confessing their sins against feminism.
Of course, these are just anecdotes. I also heard positive stories about female co-workers, including from prominent women in fields like foreign policy and journalism who described how other women had mentored them or acted as unofficial support groups. (I’ve been fortunate to have both of those experiences myself.) What’s more, research suggests that women actually make better managers than men, by certain measures.

Yet, fairly or not, many women seem to share Shannon’s fear that members of their gender tend to cut one another down. Large surveys by Pew and Gallup as well as several academic studies show that when women have a preference as to the gender of their bosses and colleagues, that preference is largely for men. A 2009 study published in the journal Gender in Management found, for example, that although women believe other women make good managers, “the female workers did not actually want to work for them.” The longer a woman had been in the workforce, the less likely she was to want a female boss.
In 2011, Kim Elsesser, a lecturer at UCLA, analyzed responses from more than 60,000 people and found that women—even those who were managers themselves—were more likely to want a male boss than a female one. The participants explained that female bosses are “emotional,” “catty,” or “bitchy.” (Men preferred male bosses too, but by a smaller margin than the female participants did.)

In a smaller survey of 142 law-firm secretaries—nearly all of whom were women—not one said she or he preferred working for a female partner, and only 3 percent indicated that they liked reporting to a female associate. (Nearly half had no preference.) “I avoid working for women because [they are] such a pain in the ass!” one woman said. In yet another study, women who reported to a female boss had more symptoms of distress, such as trouble sleeping and headaches, than those who worked for a man.

Some people find these studies literally incredible. (When the ABA Journal published an article about the legal-secretary survey, angry readers demanded a retraction. The journal wrote a follow-up piece about the controversy and issued a mild apology for the hurt feelings.)
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Re: Women prefer male bosses

Post by Anaxagoras » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:17 am

As far as theories to explain this:
As it turns out, researchers have competing theories as to why this happens—why women sometimes find themselves trapped and sniping at one another.

Joyce Benenson, a psychologist at Emmanuel College, in Boston, thinks women are evolutionarily predestined not to collaborate with women they are not related to. Her research suggests that women and girls are less willing than men and boys to cooperate with lower-status individuals of the same gender; more likely to dissolve same-gender friendships; and more willing to socially exclude one another. She points to a similar pattern in apes. Male chimpanzees groom one another more than females do, and frequently work together to hunt or patrol borders. Female chimps are much less likely to form coalitions, and have even been spotted forcing themselves between a female rival and her mate in the throes of copulation.

Benenson believes that women undermine one another because they have always had to compete for mates and for resources for their offspring. Helping another woman might give that woman an edge in the hot-Neanderthal dating market, or might give her children an advantage over your own, so you frostily snub her. Women “can gather around smiling and laughing, exchanging polite, intimate, and even warm conversation, while simultaneously destroying one another’s careers,” Benenson told me. “The contrast is jarring.”

Perhaps not surprisingly, Benenson’s theory is controversial—so much so that she says she feels sidelined and “very isolated” in academia.*

If Benenson is right, women would have to struggle mightily to repair their poisonous dynamic, since it is biologically ingrained. But many other researchers think women aren’t hardwired to behave this way. Instead, they argue, bitchiness is a by-product of the modern workplace.

In the late 1980s, Robin Ely, then a graduate student in the Yale School of Management, set about trying to understand why women’s office interactions sometimes turn toxic. “My most difficult relationship at work had been with a woman,” Ely told me, “but women had also given me the most amazing support.” She didn’t buy either of the prevailing stereotypes about women—that they are nurturing earth mothers or manipulative traitors. Instead, her hypothesis was simply that “women, like all human beings, respond to the situation they’re in.”

To test this idea, Ely cracked open a law-firm directory and picked some male-dominated firms, where no more than 5 percent of partners were female, and some other firms where women were slightly better represented in the top ranks. Then she asked the female lawyers at both types of firms how they felt about their female colleagues.

No matter where they were, the attorneys endured a grueling work environment. But in the overwhelmingly male firms, competition between women was “acute, troubling, and personal,” Ely said. Compared with the women in firms where they were better represented, women in the male-dominated settings thought less of one another and offered weak support, if any. Female partners in those firms were “almost universally reviled,” Ely said. One young lawyer described her boss as “a manipulative bitch who has no legal talent.”

Perhaps the most enduring takeaway was this: Women in the male-dominated firms believed that only so many of them would make it into the senior ranks, and that they were vying with one another for those spots. Ely, who is now a business professor at Harvard, had hit upon a dynamic known as tokenism. When there appear to be few opportunities for women, research shows, women begin to view their gender as an impediment; they avoid joining forces, and sometimes turn on one another.

Think of the “cool girl” who casually notes, “All my friends are guys”—as though it just naturally happened that way. Or the overachiever who saves her harshest feedback for her female colleagues, while the men in the office get sports talk and fist bumps. Women like Susan, the financial adviser I met in Washington, “get along with men better,” as she put it, because it pays to get along with whoever’s at the top.
And it goes on to describe other theories too. Could be evolution, could be a byproduct of the situation in which they find themselves. Or a bit of both. But as the reaction to the journal article (or James Damore's memo) shows, just trying to stick to the basic facts doesn't mean that people won't react angrily if you present facts that are hostile to their ideology.
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

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Re: Women prefer male bosses

Post by Doctor X » Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:50 am

Clearly if they just stayed in the kitchen. . . .

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