On Her Time

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Katty Kay, BBC World News America anchor and Claire Shipman, senior national correspondent at Good Morning America, say women should be changing workplaces to suit their needs in their new book Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success.


Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Comments [83]

Michael from queens

there are several problems relating to these womens assertions that we should change the work place to accomodate the needs of women. One of the major issues involving women as managers and supervisors is that staff does not like working with females in charge. One of the major complaints I here from staff especially WOMAN, is that they hate working for women. the emotional roller coaster that women bring to office situations is usually toxic to the work enviornment. I work in and agency that has many female managers, and there is always drama created by the managers. We certainly don't need any situation where its made easier for them to succeed.

Jun. 11 2009 10:42 AM
Polly P. from New Jersey

Good discussion on women in the workplace, I've done research on stereotyping and discrimination in the workplace and am glad we're talking about it. But the authors should have stayed on topic - they really veered out of their areas of expertise in discussing autism. One of the authors stated it's too bad we really don't know for sure whether vaccines cause autism - perpetuating yet again the faulty and now costly notion plaguing parents and pediatricians - that some portion of autism is due to vaccines and that we just don't have any scientific evidence to validate it yet.

As a trained scientist and former researcher I can only hope they will stop making such inaccurate statements. I so wish journalists would take a refresher course on research methods if they want to discuss these things. The autism comments display a complete lack of understanding about the scientific method - we can never disprove anything - but more important for this issue - if vaccines caused autism in a fair amount of children it would have shown up in studies thus far. It hasn't. IF vaccines trigger autism in a sliver of cases, then yes, researchers might not have studied enough kids to get at this. So, yes, technically it might be that autism can be partly attributed to vaccines, but only a very tiny portion of children. It doesn't explain the great majority of cases. But she's right, we should get those studies done if only to put the issue to rest.

Jun. 10 2009 08:13 PM

Thanks, sm, I've enjoyed your comments too.

I'm being hazy here, because there's a reason this area is so wild-west--it's heavily dependent on an underground, illegal economy.
So the Wild-West-ness suffuses all the separate communities.

Here's a story about one of these carpenters:

She had an ongoing feud with her neighbor. One day he burned down her workhouse. She got home, and knew who'd done it.

So she strapped on her gun(!) and went over to his house.

Before she got to the front door, his wife ran out waving her arms, shouting, "We'll pay for it! We'll pay for it!"

Jun. 10 2009 12:14 PM
the truth from bkny

I don't think the single and the "kidless" are jealous. I think they just want a full days work from a full time employee. Someone they can depend on to get the job done. Male or Female.

Jun. 10 2009 12:06 PM
RosieNYC from NYC

Children or not, the problem I have with someone saying they are going to take a day off because of their pets because other people take days off because of their children, is not only that those people are categorizing children and pets as the same (sorry pet owners but pets are still animals regardless how much an owner anthropomorphizes the pet) but that those people seem to think we, parents, get extra-days off because of children. If anything, most parents I know will not take personal/sick days even thought they themselves might need them in order to save them for "family emergencies". Honestly, my pet-peeve is not with the reason why you take the day off, I could care less, it is when you advertise it to the parents and when you make it sound as if we, parents, are getting a free ride. We are not. And when someone takes a "pet day off", work still have to be covered so those people are putting other people thru exactly the same they complain about.

Jun. 10 2009 12:02 PM
Rob from The Bronx

While I sympathize with any parent whose child is autistic, Jenny McCarthy & Oprah do a great disservice by promoting inaccurate non scientific information from the giant soapbox that they have. There are many studies in the US that refutes the vaccination autism link but if it were true, then the rate of autism overseas in those countries where they continue to vaccinate without being restrained by this fringe anti-vaccine movement should be much higher than the US, however it is not.

Jun. 10 2009 12:02 PM
Paulo from Paterson, NJ

74: There's a difference between recognizing that scientific theories are overturned because of new evidence, and clinging to theories long after the evidence has reduced to the realm of extreme improbability, which is exactly what has happened with the autism/vaccination connection. With respect, the people who are still holding to this theory are parents of autistic children who (understandably) want a concrete, black and white answer for why this has happened.

Reducing scientists being wrong to nothing more than arrogance is to completely fail to understand scientific progress and the history of human discovery. Is there arrogance? You bet. Do scientists hold onto bad theories long after evidence has been presented to the contrary? Sometimes. But saying its the simple explanation for wrong theories sets up the false premise that these families because they are earnestly seeking an explanation are right and the supposedly cold and elitist scientists are wrong. Is it more arrogant to evaluate the evidence and decide there's no proof to a connection, or is it more arrogant to cling to a theory because you KNOW it must be true in spite of all the evidence against it?

Jun. 10 2009 11:59 AM
the truth from bkny

I agree a bad boss is just a bad boss, I am actually labeled not a girly girl, because I don't want to talk about hair and clothes at the start of each day..I prefer to work with men. And what the hell does "IS THAT NEW" mean anyway, why do women need to know this?

Jun. 10 2009 11:52 AM
Louise from Manhattan

Great Show! Can you have them back again for another episode.
Loved the point about men always using sports metaphors (sp?) in business. It also affects men as my husband who Europen hasn't a clue about baseball/football and no interest. Sports talk should not be used at the White House or in Business (unless it is a sports company).
Another point is golf. Said husband is invited to many conferences to speak and does not play golf. Not good for men or women (though many women have picked up the sport). Keep in mind that golf courses are one of the most uneco friendly environments for this earth and people. You could do an entire episode of the waste and toxic effects on the earth and workers in golf courses.
By the way I work in real estate and both the men and the women do not like children and make it very difficult--surprising, but true--another episode.

Jun. 10 2009 11:51 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

PL Hayes [69] It wouldn't be the first time (nor obviously will it be the final time) that the scientific/medical establishment was incorrect about a theory. I admit, it's become rarer, but it is certainly not out of realm of possibilty.

Why has it happened in the past and why does it still occur? Simple, everyday, commonplace.... arrogance.

Jun. 10 2009 11:50 AM

" In my office, some of them take days off because of their pets since the rest of us take 'so many days because of our children'. "

Rosie, why is this a problem? We need more flex time in general, whether for children or other activities.

Child free workers only resent parents leaving early when it's simply assumed we will cover for you. Don't say, "I'll be available on IM and by phone" if you won't be!

Jun. 10 2009 11:46 AM
Leonore from Stuyvesant Town

"There's no evidence doesn't mean there isn't a link" was the comment on bioidentical hormones or was it vaccines. This is dangerous. Is this someone who has the knowledge to evaluate scientific methods? I am not an apologist for clinical trials, but this statement was such an insulting use of semantic tricks - I don't think Brian should just let this kind of thing go without at least a brief comment like "We'll have to have a scientific debate on that." This is EXACTLY what the problem with Oprah is - her attraction to theories and evidence is just word-of-mouth and celebrity-based and in the process she has undermined people's understanding of legitimate methods.

Jun. 10 2009 11:45 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Fun segment guys!

Jun. 10 2009 11:44 AM
dsf from 212too

(that's to 60)

Jun. 10 2009 11:44 AM
PL Hayes from Aberystwyth

Oh dear! Claire Shipman on Oprah and medical science - esp. autism/mmr... almost as bad as McCarthy and Phillips.

Jun. 10 2009 11:43 AM
dsf from 212too

The last thing 212 businesses need is more people who "care about their jobs" more than their families. How many more Lehmans/Citibanks/AIG can we afford??

Take a minute and call your mom, dude. Time better spent.

Jun. 10 2009 11:43 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

I have to say that this interview is really discouraging in terms of reflecting the lives of most women. These two are white and privilege and benefit from it.

Jun. 10 2009 11:43 AM
Paulo from Paterson, NJ

The Oprah blog on is a joke... she calls it racist because they make Oprah seem like some tribal shaman, but it was HER and not them that used the word "witch doctor". And she then uses her own initial word choice as proof of her overall argument.

Oprah has long since decided that credibility and logic are just easily-manufactured garnish to be applied sparingly to a particular topic. One only needs to look at her endorsement of "The Secret" to see that.

Jun. 10 2009 11:42 AM

"ALL THE Women I work with are single and kidless and jealous of the few of us who have families.

They are not symapethic to me when I asked to have a 4 day work week. It was difficult to even pump at work"

Just because they don't want to cover for your work doesn't mean they are "jealous." It's a shame that these discussions inevitably include a mother who truly thinks child free women are "jealous."

Jun. 10 2009 11:42 AM
donald moder from Bronx

I find it incredibly hard to figure out what these two are talking about half the time. So much gabbing, gabbing gabbing. The other half of the time they make sense, but there is so much jabbering that I tune out everything after a while.

Jun. 10 2009 11:42 AM
Prospect Park Weeper from PS

Nothing sadder than seeing parents who translate "with my kids in the park time" as "Cell phone" or "Blackberry" time.

Jun. 10 2009 11:41 AM

"Look at maternity leaves (men don't get this like women). How can someone take months off of work and expect everything to run well in the business."

Chris, men SHOULD have maternity leave. However, there's a point in which you have to cut the mom some slack...three months is entirely reasonable for someone who has just carried a fetus for nine months, both for recovery and bonding. I've worked with many women who have taken leave, and they get right back up to speed upon returning to work. Three months is not a long time for a competent worker.

Jun. 10 2009 11:39 AM
Sophie from Manhattan

In listening to this segment, all the caveats that Katy and Claire seem to add to the basic premise of the book, I'm beginning to wonder if there is an inherent issue with the basis of the book and that the scenarios are not as rosy as they seem to paint - at least not in the near future.

Jun. 10 2009 11:39 AM
James Madison from manhattan

Women with children do not care about thier jobs for the most part (exclude 5% workaholics). They want a rich husband that takes care of them.

Business know this and thats why they dont want them in thier organizations.

Let these yentas pitch this nonses to someone else.

Jun. 10 2009 11:38 AM

On women being more educated - any guess as if that's a-priori or a response to having a harder time in the job market ?

Jun. 10 2009 11:38 AM
Lori from Montclair, NJ

Would I, as a child free woman, be allowed the same flexibility to pursue my outside issues and priorities? No.

Ask any child free woman (or man) in the workplace and she will tell you how often she has finished up when her female colleague left for a "school thing". If child free women are earning more it is often because they are doing more and are therefore being rewarded. Every choice has a price tag.

Jun. 10 2009 11:38 AM
RosieNYC from NYC

oh yeah, I forgot. The worst critics when women have to take days off because of children: childless female co-workers. In my office, some of them take days off because of their pets since the rest of us take "so many days because of our children".

Jun. 10 2009 11:38 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Re The caller talking about working from home, etc -- that is true for EVERYONE nowadays, not just women.

Jun. 10 2009 11:38 AM
James Gathings from New York


This concept of flexible work schedule and flexible careers also applies to people who want to pursue a personal hobby with vigor not just moms,dads, and parents.


Jun. 10 2009 11:37 AM
Mary from Westchester County

Thank you so much for writing this book. It's so wonderful that people are beginning to realize that all people do not work the same way - women AND men. Flexibility in hours, part time work and contract work can suit both.

Jun. 10 2009 11:37 AM

Not every woman wants to spend time with her kids and dial back her work. I've been frustrated by how society (by its lack of childcare and other support resources) expects women to want to take a backseat at work and spend more time with children at home. If there was more support for me to be at work, I could be at work more, which I'd enjoy more than being a babysitter.

Jun. 10 2009 11:36 AM
Brett from Long Island City

This is a great discussion. I think it could be expanded to include how Americans in general work too many hours a year.

Jun. 10 2009 11:36 AM
Patty from Maplewood, NJ

I have had wonderful bosses, male and female, who understood my working mom issues. I have had horrible bosses, male and female, where I had to subjugate any needs, in order to keep my job.
The difference: the good ones have kids of their own. And the best one was a male boss with a working wife. He got it totally; he let me work flex-time, and was often the one telling me to go home if I was working late. The worst: a man with young children whose wife did not work. Who actually said to me: "You always seem like you are trying to get out of here." Honestly, I came in in the morning with the goal of getting out of there. Who doesn't? I wish I had gone to HR about him. Instead, I quit.

Jun. 10 2009 11:36 AM

Nicole, if you have a partner, did he or she also scale back on work after the birth of your baby?

Jun. 10 2009 11:35 AM
russell isaacs from 75th & Amsterdam

a friend (and mother) took her job and lower pay in order for her family to have full insurance. Her husband is a free lance exhibition designer.

Jun. 10 2009 11:35 AM
Lisa from Fair Lawn, NJ

Yeah, they reduce your hours, but not your workload. Talk about pressure!

Jun. 10 2009 11:34 AM
jordana furcht from manhattan

ALL THE Women I work with are single and kidless and jealous of the few of us who have families.

They are not symapethic to me when I asked to have a 4 day work week. It was difficult to even pump at work

Jun. 10 2009 11:34 AM
RosieNYC from NYC

I work in IT with almost 20 year experience and all I can say "womenomics" might work in the authors' field but I challenge them to research what is going on in fields such as IT, engineering, insurance, banking, etc. All of them still male-oriented field. The head of my company is a woman but out of 8-9 managers/directors/CIO in IT, only 2 of them are women. And the ones I could see are being "groomed" for higher management positions, all males, even though they are not the most competent.
As a woman, I have only had one woman-boss and she was the worst. She had one child and a "stay-at-home husband" and told me flat out if she could work 60 hours, I should too otherwise I should not expect to go too far in her organization. She was my age therefore the generational change will not happen for me. Hopefully my daughter will not be forced to choose between a Ph. D. or a CEO position and family and children.
Yes, you and I know we are still valuable, but while the one that signs my check doesn't see that, I am still stuck being paid less and with much less opportunities for advancement no matter degrees or experience. It will take stronger laws and better enforcement of current ones. Corporations, as we can see, do not behave unless they are forced.

Jun. 10 2009 11:33 AM
Chris from New York

I wrote, "It will be like this until men do more for their working women." - I meant the partners/husbands who have wives that work and want to follow the high management track, the partners/husbands need to pick up some of the slack to make this possible/easier for their wives/partners.

Jun. 10 2009 11:33 AM

Gene, that's an amazing story!

Jun. 10 2009 11:33 AM
Jamison from Ft Green

THANK YOU Debby!!! As a man working under a over baring woman that has to prove some thing, is a nightmare. You cant yell at them cuz they cry =/

Jun. 10 2009 11:33 AM

Why is having children the only acceptable reason for people to scale back on their jobs? Why do Americans undervalue activities outside of work so severely?

Jun. 10 2009 11:32 AM
Nicole from Montclair, NJ

My experience as a medical writer, health journalist, and pharmaceutical marketing consultant has revealed that those qualities are valued in their workplace. But, in order to position myself to be appreciated based on results, I had to downgrade my expectations after I had a child a few years ago and decided to be a full time freelancer/consultant.

So I've had to do all nighters, work during vacations, accept lower pay, and take assignments that I might have taken if I were on staff in a senior position. However, a few years later, I've branded myself as someone who loves to work, meets deadlines, and can bring a lot of value in concentrated doses when I actually show up. Now I'm paid well, treated well, and respected for my contributions. It took time, but finally the individuals I work with are starting to appreciate how hard well-educated women like me are willing to work to be able to participate in the economy and be a wife and mother on my own terms.

Jun. 10 2009 11:31 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

This is fascinating. Breaking down so many "received truths" and cliches of the past several years....

Jun. 10 2009 11:31 AM

I'm an artist 3 years out of grad school. I have consistently found in and out of school that although I seek mentor relationships with older women artists, the women seem to feel threatened by me, while older male artists treat me with more respect, interest, and warmth, and have helped me much more with my career.

Jun. 10 2009 11:30 AM
Anne from Manhattan

As a 31 year old woman currently hitting a huge stride in my career, I am simply afraid of putting work on hold for family. I worry that I'd be throwing away opportunities that would end up helping my family in the long run.

Jun. 10 2009 11:29 AM

I think the generalizations about male vs female managers is rather ridiculous. My two very best bosses were women (mothers, even!). Bad bosses are bad bosses, period.

Jun. 10 2009 11:29 AM
Chris from New York

The bad thing about women in the workplace is that many, not all, often take themselves off the high management track once they decide to get married and have kids. Look at maternity leaves (men don't get this like women). How can someone take months off of work and expect everything to run well in the business. For this other people have to somehow pick up the slack for their time off. Then they may decrease their working hours to be with kids, and to be at home, etc.

The thing is that women are now expected/want everything! How is burn out not possible here?? Unfortunately, many men still have not picked up as much of the slack as they need to in order for women to have this balance. Women still can’t have it all without killing themselves. It isn't fair for women to try to have it all, everyone suffers. It will be like this until men do more for their working women.

Jun. 10 2009 11:29 AM
hjs from 11211

i agree 100% with the caller but was afraid to post it. now i understand them (women managers)

Jun. 10 2009 11:28 AM
kathryn from cranford, nj

this "mommy track" division is real. may of the most high profile executive positions already push both men and women to the limit in terms of hours. anyone lessening up on hours - for whatever reason - cannot expect to be treated the same as their competition the way american business is run today.

Jun. 10 2009 11:27 AM

"Can social and political equality for women be achieved if men do not become equal as parents at home?"

This is right on. In my experience, dads are always favored in the workplace because they are seen as loyal, responsible breadwinners with families. Working mothers are considered "irresponsible," and potential employers assume that single women in their 30s plan to get pregnant 2 weeks after the hiring date.

Jun. 10 2009 11:26 AM
michelle from Brooklyn, NY

Men and women communicate differently. Women tend to present things in ways that emphasize interdependence and equality, while men think in terms of power and hierarchy. Communication within an orgaization is such an integral part of successful functioning, maybe these two different styles account for part of the phenomenon.

Having said that, as a former employee at a company managed mostly by women, I can say that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Jun. 10 2009 11:25 AM
the truth from bkny

Women work like they have something to prove. Female bosses tend to "micromanage" and male bosses tend NOT to pay attention to the details.

Jun. 10 2009 11:25 AM

This is a slippery analytical slope for women. We should be working toward allowing people, regardless of gender, to have flex time and not couch the need to do this in terms of women's needs. There are nurturing men and domineering women out there. It should be about maximizing the talents and skills of individuals.

Jun. 10 2009 11:24 AM
laura from brooklyn

Please....Your guests need to review the research more closely. Yes, we know that women are more relationally oriented than men (maybe be nurture or nature). This does not mean that they will be more nurturing as bosses. They can be more difficult to deal with as employers as well because of this.

Jun. 10 2009 11:24 AM
Eric from Midtown

I am an architect and I have worked at the same firm for 5 years. I believe the partners (3 men) were deliberate in setting an estrogen balance in the office. Despite how liberal the partners are, they are also cunning businessmen and I'm sure they recognized the value of this balance. The balance by the way, tended to lean toward higher numbers of female employees than male. Maybe to balance the all male ownership of the firm? I think it works actually.

Jun. 10 2009 11:23 AM
Chari from New York City

Based on my experience, as a woman working for women supervisors before, I find them very emotional, personal, and not very objective.
Also, they seem to favor men as subordinates.
There is no objectivity or impartiality in their work because emotions take preference.

Jun. 10 2009 11:23 AM
joanie from Manhattan

I applaud the concept and hope the future is better for women...and the unchangeable fact they give birth.

However, men are still in charge, and the women who do the work are often SINGLE women who do not know when to go home. They succeed as number twos because they will usually not get to be number one..

Even those who DO get to the top are more often single and married to their jobs like Carly Fiorina (and may Sonya Sotomayor) than those who have a marriage at home, with children.

Jun. 10 2009 11:22 AM

Frankly, I am sick and tired of this nonsense, of constant psychobabbling and abuse of science.
Once again the most ruthless tell us that they have succeeded because ... they're wonderful (and not, for example, because they are absolutely ruthless and opportunistic).
Dear ladies, bringing science into picture won't help. Science for some is associated with eugenics, forced sterilizations, Dr. Mengele, etc.
In reality, women are as capable of absolute brutality and cruelty as men. Why don't you, ladies, study history instead of flooding the airwaves with absolute nonsense. I know, I know, it's money. Clearly, it pays to distract
illiterate population from real issues, such as lack of health care, wage slavery, insane accumulation of wealth, etc.

Jun. 10 2009 11:21 AM

I have a friend in the countryside, a kind of Wild-West remnant. It's a weird mix of hard-core rednecks, progressive/artistic types--and lesbians.

My friend got tired of dealing with rednecks on his house-building crews, and started hiring women, who really, really wanted to get work. Soon, he was the only contractor in town with an all-woman crew.

They tend to be incredibly hard-working and thoughtful. Those houses will last far, far longer than most, I'm sure.

There are also a lot fewer issues such as general irresponsibility, drinking on the job, fistfights and petty larceny, to name just a few.

Many of the women have gone on to start their own contracting businesses.

Jun. 10 2009 11:21 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

I totally agree with Shipman and Kaye and as they say, the science is bearing them out with a vengeance. Now if the PC police will let the truth out.

And this is the argument about having both a mother AND a father when it comes to raising chlidren, because we are DIFFERENT, and having both brings a special BALANCE of roles to the children.

Jun. 10 2009 11:21 AM
Lori from Montclair, NJ

Good discussion but dangerous territory.

There are plenty of women who DO NOT have children (by circumstance or choice) and so if there is an assumption in the workplace that they will SOMEDAY want to dial back their career that is unfair to women who make different choices. Plus, I have two close friends whose husbands are the primary caregivers and the women are the breadwinners and this best suits their personalities and careers.

Stop reinforcing stereotypes -- it is a disservice to women AND men.

p.s. as a childfree woman, I am tired of being left behind to finish up work because I don't have a "school thing" to attend

Jun. 10 2009 11:20 AM
inquisigal from Brooklyn

While I agree with much of what your guests are talking about, I think to focus purely on women, and women as mothers, in this discussion isn't entirely productive. Am I the only one who hasn't noticed that the workplace in this country puts incredible pressure on EVERYONE to work long hours and/or overtime with little notice and no additional compensation?

I think you have to bring men into this discussion; there are plenty of people who want to be "successful" in life, but who believe that success includes life outside the work place. If you look at the attitude toward work in Europe, and how much time off people get, versus what workplaces operate like here, the differences are clear. US companies want to get as much from their employees as they can, with no care about quality of life.

Jun. 10 2009 11:20 AM

As far as estrogen and testosterone, a balance is ideal. I loathe working environments with too much of either!

Jun. 10 2009 11:19 AM
Rhea from Queens

Men are actually the more emotional ones in the workplace.

Male anger has cost corporations countless dollars, whereas women are much more reasonable and focused on the actual work.

Jun. 10 2009 11:19 AM
hjs from 11211

has the arab world failed because 1/2 their population is hidden away?

Jun. 10 2009 11:18 AM
Dorothy C from NYC

Having been in the workplace for 30 years in education (HS and college) and then technology (small Internet companies and IBM), my experience of women managers has been the opposite of your guests'. Women managers have been competitive, bullying, and short-sighted. My mentors and good managers, when I was fortunate enough to find them, have been men. An early feminist, I found this a complete and devastating surprise.

Jun. 10 2009 11:18 AM

Women's needs should also be men's needs, in terms of childcare. Men need to take equal responsibility in this area, and employers need to stop assuming that men are the breadwinners. Men are so often given a high five when they leave early to pick up the kids while women are frowned upon for doing the same.

This shift in attitude would even benefit child free workers like me.

Jun. 10 2009 11:18 AM
Jeanne from Hawthorne, NJ

I am a feminist from the 70's. I can tell you that I have not really seen any change. As a woman and a mother and a daughter, I have learned that everything comes with a price. If you accept a job, as I have, that allows a certain amount of freedom to take care of family issues, you earn less. If you earn more, then you have less freedom. So, men and women are the same as they have always been and the balance between them works, at home, at the workplace and in society.

Jun. 10 2009 11:17 AM
karen escalona from NJ

asset to estrogen ration:

Feminine management skills may help the bottom line, but there is still one area when we can learn from men. Women do not tend to confront an opponent face on. We are more likely to gather an "army" of sympathizers around us in the office before confronting a person with an issue. Men, on the otherhand, go one on one without involving a herd. If women can learn this from men, the workplace atmosphere will be less dramatic.

Jun. 10 2009 11:17 AM
tlp from Brooklyn

This is not just about sex, but also class. Most of us are not in 'leadership positions', but are wage slaves.

In other words, what do the authors have to offer pink- and blue-collar workers?

Jun. 10 2009 11:16 AM
johnjohn from nyc

Risk averse is good for organizations but what we need is a balance between risk averseness and risk taking. You cannot have capitalism without risk taking. Can you make the argument that a women only, risk averse organization that it will be as profitable? Will women as risk averse managers make the hiring decisions based on risk averseness – taking chance on a guy who doesn’t look the typical corporate type.

Jun. 10 2009 11:16 AM
adrienne weiss from Upper West Side, NYC

OY VEY! I'm a card carrying woman and I had a woman boss that almost drove me to daily dosses of valium and single malt! I think this guest has to be out of her mind! Male and female bosses or workers don't differentiate thru sex, just intellegence and humor.


Jun. 10 2009 11:15 AM
Brian from Manhattan

Did you examine companies that were lead by women that did not succeed? It seems like a case of selection bias. Picking out only success stories does not tell the whole story.

Jun. 10 2009 11:14 AM

At my job, women and men hold equal positions but whenever things involving physical labor need to be done, it is just assumed that the men will do them, even if they are not strenuous. My boss is a woman and I believe she has set the tone that fosters this sort of environment. Otherwise, I really like working for her but in this area my workplace has been remade as very sexist.
The other problem I have here is that it is okay to ascribe differences between the sexes to biology when it benefits women but not the other way around.

Jun. 10 2009 11:14 AM
Leonore from Stuyvesant Town

The hormone theory is completely insane. Biological reductionism is stereotyping and harms women in the short and the long run. Show me the research on castrated men (sans testosterone) in the workplace - come on.
"We" are different denies the vast OVERLAP in all the good research.

Jun. 10 2009 11:13 AM
Glen Ganaway from Manhattan

I work in the administration arm of the health care industry where I have almost always been the only male.
Mostly this has been great. I prefer to work as a team creating collaborative solutions. I'm verbal and want a safe and fun place to work.
Every female boss that I have ever has done one thing that I really dislike. There is an attempt to 'publicly' reprimand me etc. Its always something very trumped up and easily manufactured and solved/dismissed.
Some of these women were brilliant. Everyone of them had to 'show' the rest of the staff of women my 'defeat'. Ugh!
I prefer women bosses, but this aspect is quite troubling.

Jun. 10 2009 11:13 AM
anon from brooklyn

All you need to do is walk into the pink collar industry of Nonprofits to see the real leadership and successes of women.

Jun. 10 2009 11:12 AM
Mavrik from NYC

Can social and political equality for women be achieved if men do not become equal as parents at home?

Jun. 10 2009 11:11 AM
anon from brooklyn

Baby Boomer era women must take the responsibility for making workplaces better for younger women. In my decade of work experience that generation of women are less flexible and helpful to new mothers in the workplace.

Jun. 10 2009 11:09 AM
joanne from NYC

I own my own business, and I have a law degree (and a small practice; I'm in my 50s and semi-retired). A few weeks ago, I took over someone's job for 10 days as a manager in the manufacturing sector, as a favor for a friend with an emergency. I was the only woman, and I was supposed to be equivalent (as he is) to the other managers.

Not. Unlike everyone else, I was told when and if I could go to lunch, yelled at when I took cellphone calls from my family, asked to make another manager breakfast. Described as "feisty" when I objected, patted on the back (literally) for approval. Called honey, dear, etc. Someone complained that my voice was too shrill for them (I am frequently called "sir" on the phone, so I have reason to doubt this).

I feel angry and undermined. I'm still recovering emotionally. I will not work for someone else again. My children were furious that I didn't just walk out, but I had agreed to work the 10 days. In retrospect, they were right.

Jun. 10 2009 10:59 AM
desdemona finch

Great idea for a book. From my experience, I've noticed that women tend to have a more difficult time drawing boundaries than men. But if you bend over backwards for your job, people will take you for granted. They will expect you to give everything you have for your work and take advantage of you.

I used to tell women I worked with who consistently worked past normal hours, "You are not a slave to your job." The more you become a slave to your job the more you resent it and the less productive you become.

The more you demand the more respect you get. Women shouldn't be afraid to just say no. What's the worse that could happen? You get fired? Doubtful that would happen even in this terrible economy. And if it does, maybe it's all for the good.

Jun. 10 2009 10:56 AM
Joe Adams from Hillsdale, Bergen County, NJ

It's all well and good for people with elitist jobs like broadcasting to set their own conditions but in this era of rising unemployment, ordinary folk dare not upset their job's apple cart. I heard the two authors on the Diane Rehm show last week (sorry Brian) and not once did they mention husbands, their own excluded thus placing fathers in the limbo of non-personhood. This philosophy sounds like a perscription for job dismissal and divorce.

Jun. 10 2009 08:40 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.