« 21st Century Advice for Parents of Boys | Main | All Kinds Of Kinds »

January 22, 2014

DEVASTATING!!!

Well, really only devastating if you subscribe to the notion that women "ought" to prefer working for other women:

A recurring issue in glass-ceiling debates revolves around whether women are, either directly or indirectly, excluded from high-level jobs. Many offices tend to promote people according to a concept called "homosocial reproduction"—essentially, the spoils go to the workers who move in the right social circles. If your workplace is a boy's club where the high-performers smoke cigars and play golf together, this theory would dictate that the next big promotion is likely not going to the quiet female analyst who knits during lunchtime.

workwomen.png

That's why this one fact, from a Pew survey released last month, is so devastating.

Pew asked 2,002 people if they would prefer to work with men or women. Most—78 percent of men and 76 percent of women—said they didn't care. But for the 22 percent who did have a preference, "it’s men who get the nod from both sexes by about a 2-1 margin," Pew's Rich Morin writes. In fact, more women said they'd rather work with men than men did.

One interesting way to look at this study is that - despite the shrieking of the perpetually aggrieved crowd who contend that allowing women into the workplace has terrified men to the point of utter helplessness - there's hardly any difference between the co-worker preferences of most women and most men.

To evaluate the efficacy of a policy, most analysts pay more attention to how well it works in the majority of cases. Here, 85% of men and 81% of women either have no preference or prefer working with women.

This would appear to be bad news for the argument that feminists have made the workplace so unfriendly to men that they've gone on strike. The converse (an even higher proportion of women than men - 94% vs 92% - either have no preference or prefer working with men) is bad news for the argument that Evil, Patriarchal Hegemonists are oppressing women left and right.

The differences here are marginal at best. And the majority of workers - male and female - appear not to have gotten the outrage memo :p

Posted by Cassandra at January 22, 2014 08:05 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.villainouscompany.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/4953

Comments

Very interesting, and completely confirms everything that I've ever thought regarding the subject... or any subject for that matter. My cousin also made almost $93,000 working from home stuff olives. You could too!

By the way, I wonder what the results would have been if instead the question asked:
"Do you prefer having men or women as your boss?

Posted by: spd rdr at January 22, 2014 12:53 PM

Very interesting, and completely confirms everything that I've ever thought regarding the subject... or any subject for that matter. My cousin also made almost $93,000 working from home stuff olives. You could too!

Pppphhhhhttttthhhh :)

By the way, I wonder what the results would have been if instead the question asked:
"Do you prefer having men or women as your boss?

I wondered that, too. Asking about co-workers is very different from asking about a boss. I suspect the answer would be so skewed by personal experience (and quite possibly, by very small sample sizes) as to be almost worthless.

I would think that most women have worked for a man. I wonder how many men have actually worked for a woman? Would most men have a representative sample of female bosses to base their preference on?

My completely sexist and unfair guesstimate is that men would have a harder time working for a woman than the reverse. I base this on nothing more scientific than the obvious irritation I hear when men talk about any woman telling them what to do. But I don't know whether that says more about them, or more about the women they've worked for :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 01:21 PM

Having had to ride in team vans and buses with upwards of 15-20 girls at one time for the duration of a sport's season, I can testify that it ain't purty, it ain't fun and on certain times of the season, can be right bloody hell (not to be confused with OBloodyHell who has recently wandered his way back here from the NeverNever.) I felt so sorry for the coaches - the only guys on the team.
Give me a crew of guys any time, any where.
Please.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at January 22, 2014 01:37 PM

Well, I'm not sure girls on a bus and women in an office setting are all that comparable but I have to agree - I find teenaged girls extremely annoying. If I had to ride on a bus full of them, I might have to defenestrate. :p

I think it probably matters what your relationship is to a co-worker (is he/she a subordinate? a superior? a peer?) My answers for each of these are very different.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 02:01 PM

The power of a uniform....

Decades ago my dad shared a few stories with me about his WWII military experience. One of these related a barracks discussion about why the men needed to fight the enemy. My dad, who did know even then, observed that very few fellows had any idea what Nazism was about, at least not beyond the propaganda. Instead, most of the response to "why fight?" reduced to "because they wear a different uniform".

While I was in college a few years after my hi school year of his sharing that story, a race riot occurred in a nearby big city. I saw national guard get off trucks, fix bayonets, and build a sandbag machine gun post in my own city's main street. You bet current events came up in dinner conversation. My dad remarked he most hated race wars because they put children in uniform.

Decades later I went to local U to take grad management classes. In that context got assigned to group which then had to organize and cooperate to take on various tasks. Had worked with, even for women, tho the latter only an indirect relation. Was part of the 78% of the poll cited above. But in this management class I experienced meeting a few women, especially one, who thought of their gender as a uniform.

And my uniform was opposite.

Still part of the 78%. But a bit gun shy.

Posted by: Roy at January 22, 2014 02:08 PM

I can relate, Roy. When I first began working, I was promoted and had an equal number of men and women for me - about 35 people total.

Two of the men let me know in no uncertain terms that they "weren't about to let a woman tell them what to do". It was really bizarre - I had read about that kind of thing, but had never experienced it personally. Over the years, I've worked with a tiny handful of men who made a big deal out of plumbing. They were jerks - I think if it hadn't been plumbing, they would have found some other ax to grind... or maybe not! The thing is, the vast majority of men I know aren't like that.

It's amazing what a few bad apples can do to your perception of the barrel.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 02:20 PM

"Well, I'm not sure girls on a bus and women in an office setting are all that comparable..."

From a personal standpoint, given the types of jobs I had after high school and college (fyi, btw, many of my team sports weren't just teenage girls), I had the opportunity to observe, without actually being a part of, groups of men, groups of women and combinations thereof in their natural work habitats - hamster wheels and all. Far and away the offices with the most drama, trauma and downright mean-spirited people were the ones with only women in them. As in "Dayum those are some serious bitches!" harsh and mean-spirited. It also seemed, to this casual observer, that when men were in the mix, women constrained themselves more. Whether that was out of some misguided attempt to hide their true nature, I'm not sure, but I suspected so then as did the men.

Two of the men let me know in no uncertain terms that they "weren't about to let a woman tell them what to do".

Interesting that you say this. MH, upon returning from his first Unaccompanied Tour to Okinawa after we got married, received a promotion. When filling out the details for his promotion ceremony, he requested his Captain, a female, perform the ceremony and do the pinning of his new rank. Many of his buddies and senior NCO's questioned this because "OMG, WOMAN!!!1!!eleventy!!!". But, MH had great respect for this woman as a Marine, as Provost Marshall and especially as a woman being all those things at once as well as a wife and mother.
Could be part of the reason I love the man so.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at January 22, 2014 02:59 PM

"weren't about to let a woman tell them what to do"

Well, the door's right over there. It ain't locked.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 22, 2014 03:03 PM

Myself, I've had 6 bosses. Five men, one woman. Two of them were bad (so bad I not only changed jobs, but companies), and they were both men.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 22, 2014 03:11 PM

Far and away the offices with the most drama, trauma and downright mean-spirited people were the ones with only women in them. As in "Dayum those are some serious bitches!" harsh and mean-spirited. It also seemed, to this casual observer, that when men were in the mix, women constrained themselves more. Whether that was out of some misguided attempt to hide their true nature, I'm not sure, but I suspected so then as did the men.

Wow. My experience has been so different.

I've heard other people talk about situations like that but have never experienced that myself. And I've worked in several all-female workplaces: a store, a law office, a university, and my team at my current workplace have all been all-female (we did have one man, but he got pulled off on another project). Everyone has always gotten along fine.

Many of his buddies and senior NCO's questioned this because "OMG, WOMAN!!!1!!eleventy!!!". But, MH had great respect for this woman as a Marine, as Provost Marshall and especially as a woman being all those things at once as well as a wife and mother. Could be part of the reason I love the man so.

Your husband sounds like a keeper. But then he has to be secure, being married to a woman who is strong and independent herself :)

I've witnessed a fair amount of hostility from men directed at women in college and in my career. I haven't experienced most of it personally - I've been treated really well - but I've seen more really awful behavior directed at others than I care to recount.

Over the years, I've tried to chalk this up to men just plain being more intransigent, competitive, aggressive by nature, but even more I've tried to chalk it up to a few bad apples. I know so many men who AREN'T that way, that I hesitate to tar all men with that broad brush.

Most men I've known control their emotions very well.

Still, when I look at the instances of really unprofessional behavior in a work setting, things are very unbalanced. Yet, such episodes are pretty rare. I don't know how to interpret the fact that I've never seen a woman make a scene like that at work, because the sample size of men is so much bigger. Consequently, I've always tried to temper the natural interpretation with the awareness that I wasn't dealing with a random sample.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 03:22 PM

Well, the door's right over there. It ain't locked.

That's what I thought to myself :p What I said was something like, "Like it or not, I'm the supervisor. I don't think I can work with someone who refuses to do what they're asked to do because it's my job to do that. How do you propose we resolve this?"

I was barely 21 when this happened, and one of the men was over 40. When I didn't lash out at him, he stopped and thought a bit, then explained that he was ashamed that this job was all he could get (he'd had far better positions in the past and had been the boss himself).

He ended up telling me that as long as I treated him respectfully, he would do as I asked. And I promised to do that. Can't say he was ever a great employee, but he was a reliable one from that point on. The other guy, I ended up firing.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 03:28 PM

I do seem to remember seeing a study in the news that did ask people which gender they'd rather work for and, like this one, it found that women, if they had a preference, prefered male bosses over female ones. And by a larger margin than the men did.

You can trust this, because, as a man, I have a perfect memory. Just ask the LG.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 22, 2014 03:38 PM

Myself, I've had 6 bosses. Five men, one woman.

I've had 11 bosses that I remember well enough to comment upon: 6 men and 5 women. Of the worst ones, 2 were men and one was a woman.

Biggest problem I've had with male bosses has been disengagement and rash decision-making, coupled with refusal to think about details (even important ones!). This caused a lot of crisis management and tons of unnecessary rework.

Biggest problem I've had with female bosses has been... well, there's really no consistency to their flaws. My best boss hands down has been female. Only had 1 bad one, and she was never around. Only job I ever quit.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 03:39 PM

You can trust this, because, as a man, I have a perfect memory. Just ask the LG.

Heh :)

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 03:40 PM

"You can trust this, because, as a man, I have a perfect memory. Just ask the LG."

Yes dear.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at January 22, 2014 03:55 PM

My data point:

I currently have a job covering small town government for a local newspaper. I cover six assemblages atm. *By far* the most dysfunctional board I cover is all-male. By far. Further, the board oversees an all-male organization that is rife with vendettas, backbiting, personal grudges and agendas and just about every other form of dysfunction you can imagine. The organization's dysfunction has also had repercussions that are now rippling back to the governing bodies of the communities involved in this organization and causing problems with them as well.

Perhaps I'm sheltered, but I had never seen anything remotely like this before I started covering this board (and my prior experience was in academia!) On the one hand it's amusing in a trainwrecky sort of way, but on the other hand it's not amusing at all, because this particular board performs a function that is vital to the community's safety.

Another board I cover was functioning fairly smoothly until a new person, a man, was appointed. This man apparently has a long-standing grudge-match with another member of the community, also a man, that is spilling back onto the board, to put it lightly. (The matter that sparked the grudge btw, is something that could be cleared up in two minutes with an apology.) Sparing details, there's a lot of personal drama going on that is pretty amazing even to someone from an academic background.

It's definitely thoroughly disabused me of the idea that women are somehow more vindictive than men are.

Posted by: colagirl at January 22, 2014 04:15 PM

No seriously. If you ever need to know exactly how something happened, as far back as you should ever care to inquire, you should go ask the LG.

That's what I keep her around for.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 22, 2014 04:15 PM

Funny - I perform that exact.same.function for the Spousal Unit :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 04:25 PM

...the board oversees an all-male organization that is rife with vendettas, backbiting, personal grudges and agendas and just about every other form of dysfunction you can imagine.

I'm always amazed when I hear men saying women are particularly vindictive or more prone to drama. That hasn't been my experience at all. FWIW, I don't think men are more vindictive/prone to drama than women, either. Some women and some men are that way, and people tend to emphasize or ignore the cases that don't fit their pre-existing opinions of "how men/women/transgendered Arctic wolves are".

The main differences I've noticed is how the drama or nastiness plays out - it's more a difference of style than substance. Men lose their tempers publicly (and rather spectacularly), women rarely do that. Women often cry (men rarely do that).

This is akin to the "women are emotional" meme :p

I always laugh when we're watching football - most people wouldn't characterize football as particularly emotional, but that word is thrown out over and over and over again by football commentators (most of whom are former players!). They're always talking about how "emotional" the players are.

My husband gets very annoyed with me when I point this out. Seems to me that Richard Sherman was looking pretty "emotional" on the sidelines last weekend :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 22, 2014 04:38 PM

Seems to me that Richard Sherman was looking pretty "emotional" on the sidelines last weekend :p

Which is why men must be taught composure.

And class.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 23, 2014 09:06 AM

*snort*

I really wish we could, without descending into the morass of "WE'REALLEXACTLYTHESAMEINEVERYWAYANDTHEREARENODIFFERENCESBETWEENMENANDWOMENEXCEPTTHEONESIFEELLIKERECOGNIZINGANDDON'TYOUDARENOTICETHEONESIFINDEMBARRASSINGORREFUSETORECOGNIZETHEONESIFINDUSEFULINARGUMENTS", all just admit that civilization with all its brutal harshing of "natural" feelings, has been berry berry good to the species, and it would be a bad thing if we began to dismantle it in the name of winning some idiotic war against the other half of Humynity :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 23, 2014 09:19 AM

Speaking of which, I saw this this morning and thought it was hysterical. I'm not in the habit of posting NSFW videos - this contains the v-word and a few other anatomical nicknames but is otherwise fairly innocuous, if politically incorrect.

So, with that warning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5U-YT-mRmI&feature=youtu.be

Posted by: Cassandra at January 23, 2014 09:23 AM

I don't know about football, but I know exactly how baseball would go about harshing those "natural" feelings and do it without any more comment than "Who didn't see *that* coming?"

If Sherman had any sense, his first time at bat he'd just lay down in the batter's box as he'd end up in the dirt anyway.

Sports are highly emotional. It's one of the reasons we play them. It's just that those emotions tend to be the more crude ones.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 23, 2014 09:50 AM

Well, sports are one area I have very little personal insight into. Team sports weren't something most girls competed in when I was young. I was in gymnastics, but that's really more of an individual competitive event than a team one (even though you do compete as a team too).

I once asked the spouse why he enjoyed playing football so much? He said something about being allowed to hit people :p

I kind of know what he meant (I often feel like hitting people at work - seriously!) - it's socially acceptable aggression that channels a lot of potentially destructive (but extremely useful!) emotions in a positive way. And I've seen how good it is for boys to be challenged that way - they seem to need it to develop into men.

Me, I tend to cringe every time some guy gets hit hard on the TV screen :p I hate when guys get hurt - I have to get up and walk out of the room. My heart just goes out to them - if I could hug them through the TV and I knew they wouldn't punch me, I'd do it :p

Differences, again.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 23, 2014 10:21 AM

If I were asked "Do you prefer to work with men or women?" I'd have to answer, "Depends. What am I doing?"

Posted by: Grim at January 23, 2014 01:05 PM

}}} And the majority of workers - male and female - appear not to have gotten the outrage memo

I can't speak for the women, but, for the men, those are the ones who have never experienced a job ending false accusation by a woman.

I'll grant that the "prefer women" group probably are women who have endured, or believe to have endured, correctly or incorrectly, some form of overt gender harassment.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, Yeah, lost your link... at January 23, 2014 01:08 PM

}}} (not to be confused with OBloodyHell who has recently wandered his way back here from the NeverNever.)

Nice to be missed :-D

Computer crash, rebuilt from scratch, didn't have backup of bookmarks somehow, and VC wound up much, much further down on the list than I nominally placed it in the past.

I have two blogs I frequent daily. I have two more that I frequent a couple times a week or more, usually one of the two every day (i.e., usually three blogs as time permits). And there were several that I did a kind of rotation depending on how long it had been since I was last there. VC was always one of those, but it failed to make it until something else bumped me here... "The List" iirc, which one of the versions of it Vanderleun link back to VC, and I realized it had been too long... ;-)

So now it's back in that light rotation duty.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, Yeah, lost your link... at January 23, 2014 01:15 PM

If I were asked "Do you prefer to work with men or women?" I'd have to answer, "Depends. What am I doing?"

I had a very similar thought, Grim.

A year or two ago I needed to hire a new person and was asked to describe the person best suited for the tasks I was trying to staff. And I realized, much to my surprise, that I was almost certainly describing a woman.

And that really bothered me, though I'm still not sure if it should have. I worried that I was being biased, but my gut and years of experience told me that a man would be unlikely to enjoy that type of work and also quite likely wouldn't have the attention to detail it needed. This is all terribly unfair, I realize :p

OTOH, there are jobs I can think of where I would be just as predisposed to prefer a man.

I'll grant that the "prefer women" group probably are women who have endured, or believe to have endured, correctly or incorrectly, some form of overt gender harassment.

Fair enough. I think there are also a lot of men and women who - for one reason or another - are simply unable or unwilling to make the extra effort required to work with the other sex (in relationships or in the office). I can't imagine a life without men - they enrich my understanding of the world.

But I have known many women who love men but find them hard to understand and are often upset by them, and vice versa.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 23, 2014 01:23 PM

I'm always amazed when I hear men saying women are particularly vindictive or more prone to drama. That hasn't been my experience at all. FWIW, I don't think men are more vindictive/prone to drama than women, either.

LOL, didn't we have this discussion over "The List" (i.e., the thing that reminded me I wasn't visiting here....)?

:-D

Posted by: OBloodyHell, I'm BAAAAaack... at January 23, 2014 01:27 PM

}}} I think there are also a lot of men and women who - for one reason or another - are simply unable or unwilling to make the extra effort required to work with the other sex

The only challenge I would offer to this, that I can think of, would be that, while that may have been reasonable 30+ years ago, it's hard to believe that very many people in the workforce are such dinosaurs that they have not worked with the opposite sex at some point and lived most of their lives with a great deal of emphasis on the idea of "gender equity". Some men (and/or women) may have managed to go through 40 years (or less) without being disabused of such neanderthal notions, but it can't be many.

I certainly never had any issues with it, but given that in one previous job a woman who didn't like me tried to make accusations about something I said to someone ELSE, and she happened to overhear, that had no relevance to her whatsoever, in order to try and get me in trouble (I was responding to a direct question by a co-worker about something which was "racially sensitive", and which I endeavored to provide an honest answer to. It was not about anything *I* thought, per se, but how he was perceived. I was attempting to offer another PoV, which he appeared to be seeking -- the co-worker didn't have a complaint. But the female listener decided it was her business), and in another one I essentially lost a job I was doing quite well in because of blatantly false accusation, I'd simply rather not work around a woman.

It is an unfortunate fact that in our current job situation, women have the power, in all too many places, to make claims that will be unchallenged and treated as absolute truth with no effort at due process.

No effort towards DP is required of employers in many states, and hence it gives women an undue power over men which is simply unacceptable.

I don't dislike women, I don't dislike working with and around them. But I don't see any benefit to me to risk being around a total Bitch From Hell, and even if they aren't a large percentage, the percentage is amply high enough to be avoided as much as is humanly possible. Losing a good job under such a cloud can be career ending.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, I Brought My Penicillllll..... at January 23, 2014 01:45 PM

Well, my husband has never, in over 35 years of working, worked for a woman :p

...given that in one previous job a woman who didn't like me tried to make accusations about something I said to someone ELSE, and she happened to overhear, that had no relevance to her whatsoever, in order to try and get me in trouble (I was responding to a direct question by a co-worker about something which was "racially sensitive", and which I endeavored to provide an honest answer to. It was not about anything *I* thought, per se, but how he was perceived. I was attempting to offer another PoV, which he appeared to be seeking -- the co-worker didn't have a complaint. But the female listener decided it was her business), and in another one I essentially lost a job I was doing quite well in because of blatantly false accusation, I'd simply rather not work around a woman.

OK, let me get this straight. One woman did something bad to you, and as a consequence you'd rather not work with ANY women?

Yikes. If I followed that logic, I wouldn't want to work with men, ever. Just sayin' :)

Posted by: Cassandra at January 23, 2014 02:03 PM

"Well, my husband has never, in over 35 years of working, worked for a woman :p"

Waid a minit! He retired in the last five years, yes?

Posted by: Evil Twin at January 23, 2014 02:46 PM

Since he "retired", he's had 3 bosses. All of them men :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 23, 2014 03:11 PM

I had a very similar thought, Grim.

Well, here's the corollary to that thought: maybe these stats break down along those lines. In ~77% of occupations, it doesn't make a difference. In ~16% of occupations there is a reason to prefer a man, and in the rest there are reasons to prefer women.

The main kinds of occupations in which men would be preferred are those in which physical strength is more regularly important. That also happens to line up with why women would find slightly more of those occupations than men (18% v. 14%).

If that were the case, the main factor is not "how do men feel about women?" nor "how do women feel about men?" The main factor is the kind of work the person does who was asked the question, and naturally assumed as the context for the question. The sex of the respondent is a minor factor, relevant only to about 4% of cases in which women are working in fields where physical strength is especially important.

Is that plausible? 4% of firefighters are women, which (while very much not an apples to apples comparison with '4% of women,' all of whom are not firefighters) suggests to me that the figures might work out more or less that way if we took the time to calculate them.

Posted by: Grim at January 23, 2014 03:13 PM

The sex of the respondent is a minor factor, relevant only to about 4% of cases in which women are working in fields where physical strength is especially important.

That's poorly phrased. I mean that the difference between the 18% and the 14% woman/man preference for men might boil down to a small percentage (4%) of occupations in which a woman doing the job would find it really useful to have a man around, but a man in the job wouldn't care whether his co-worker was male or female.

Posted by: Grim at January 23, 2014 03:43 PM

That's poorly phrased. I mean that the difference between the 18% and the 14% woman/man preference for men might boil down to a small percentage (4%) of occupations in which a woman doing the job would find it really useful to have a man around, but a man in the job wouldn't care whether his co-worker was male or female.

The article was trying to read way too much into the study anyway, I thought. Your explanation is as plausible as any.

FWIW, I don't think it's just physical strength men offer. There are psychological qualities needed in certain jobs that men have more often than women (and I think the reverse is true as well).

Posted by: Cassandra at January 23, 2014 03:49 PM

"4% of firefighters are women..."

FWIW, my fire crews always said they'd take a team of *me* over any other crew any day. They never spoke that way about the other girl on the crew nor did I hear them speak such about any other girl on any other crew for that matter.
MH has said the same many time to his fellow Marines and friends - especially when it comes to marksmanship with a rifle.

"Me, I tend to cringe every time some guy gets hit hard on the TV screen :p"

Believe it or not, everyone cringes. It's just that many of us do so in the "Oooooo, dayum what a hit!!!" kind of mode, whereas I presume you are coming from the same frame of mind that one has when they see someone suddenly get hit by a bus on tv. And nobody likes to see someone get hurt. Even I, a devoted Miami Dolphin fan, didn't like seeing Talib not get up or come back into the Bronco/Pats game. I really didn't like seeing the knee injury to the 49er linebacker (forget his name at the moment) and not just because of my personal history. But I still love the game - hits and all.

Posted by: DL Sly at January 23, 2014 03:55 PM

Believe it or not, everyone cringes.

Yep. Don't believe me? Just watch a room of guys when someone takes a hit to the groin. Sympathy for pain is not lacking. :-)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 23, 2014 04:21 PM

Hi Colagirl,
What you experienced was not about gender, it was about gov't work. In private for profit enterprise individuals need to be productive and more or less cooperative, or they will be sacked. No such feedback mechanism for gov't work.

Important disclaimer: military does not equal 'gov't' work.

Howdy Cass,
As a local manager for a large international company I hired several dozen people, and when I retired I had 80 employees. One of my groups was mostly women (project administrators that processed document transmittals), and two mostly men (project & quality engineers; they had to be able to travel w/ no notice). In casual conversations, more than a few of my femals employees volunteered they were not happy w/ their previous female manager (which had to have been for personal reasons, as she was vastly more knowledgeable and personally competent wrt that job function than me).
I cannot ever recall hearing a guy say he was unhappy w/ his 'boss' simply because it was a 'she.'

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at January 23, 2014 09:00 PM

OK, let me get this straight. One woman did something bad to you, and as a consequence you'd rather not work with ANY women?

No, two. And we're not talking "bad" to me. We're talking, "tried to end my career in business, and almost succeeded". Given how LITTLE effort it took on her part -- all she had to do was to LIE -- yeah, that's a major problem, Cass.

No, that doesn't reverse. If *I* tell a lie, it will be challenged, and inspected, and verified. There will be "due process" of a sort, in pretty much ANY job environment.

There was ZERO -- repeat ZEE ROW -- "due process" in the egregious case. No questions asked of anyone else (there was at least one witness, they were not asked about it). I was not asked about it. I wasn't even told exactly what was CLAIMED, much less given a chance to deny it, indicate it was taken out of context (whatever it was), much less given any possible response.

Why the hell should I risk having a woman have THAT kind of power over my life, my income, my employment?

Sorry, Cass.

You find out a co-worker killed one of their co-workers in a fit of rage. They've served their jail time. They've gotten counseling. They're even on some meds.

Ya still wanna work with them?

Now generalize that -- work in a location where you KNOW for a fact that ONE of your co-workers did that. But not which one.

Still happy to be employed there?

I did not say I would NOT work with a woman. But no, I'm not enthusiastic about such. And if I have a choice, I'm going to strongly avoid it.

Today's work environment is supremely hostile to men. Period.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, I Brought My Penicillllll..... at January 25, 2014 05:55 AM

You really haven't demonstrated (at least from what you're told us so far) that her being female had anything to do with how the accusation was handled, though.

As far as I can tell, the accusation had to do with your voicing something that could possibly have been interpreted as racially insensitive. What does that have to do with being female?

Merely claiming that the whole thing would have been treated completely differently if the players had had different plumbing does exactly nothing to establish that that is in fact the case.

You may believe it with all your heart, but you haven't really established that her being female had anything to do with how your employer handled the complaint, or that it would have been handled differently had the sexes been reversed.

That's my point.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 25, 2014 09:31 AM

You find out a co-worker killed one of their co-workers in a fit of rage. They've served their jail time. They've gotten counseling. They're even on some meds. Ya still wanna work with them?

This really depends on why they killed their co-worker. Could be he had it coming.

Posted by: Grim at January 25, 2014 09:53 AM

I think perhaps the more pertinent question would be:

You find out a [male] co-worker killed one of their co-workers in a fit of rage.

Do you infer that because one male co-worker killed someone, men are dangerous to work with?

Posted by: Cassandra at January 25, 2014 10:24 AM

Let me use some examples from my own life to illustrate the point further. During my working career, I have had all of the following things happen (and more like them):

1. A male employer state openly to me that it makes perfect sense for a single man still living with his parents to be paid more than a married woman with a child, working to support her family because.... [wait for it!], "Someday, *he* will have a family to support." Oh, and this young man couldn't successfully complete the training for the position he had been hired for. A position I had NO training for and learned OTJ. He ended up being trained for the job beneath that (a position I also was promoted to and filled with no training...well enough that I was promoted again in a mere 2 months). He still got paid more than I did after that. So much for supporting a family.

2. A prospective employer [male] express concern, in violation of the law, about who would care for my son while I was at work. My husband, the father of said child, has never been asked that question. Ever. Ironically, my husband was the person who cared for our child while I was working when I eventually got hired despite the "handicap" of being a parent.

3. A male employer tell me that even though I was "the best management trainee he had ever seen in almost 30 years of work", he would not assign me to the store I wanted because "male contractors would refuse to work with a woman".

4. Two male employees refuse "to take orders from a woman".

5. An employer that considered a pool of applicants for a management position (2 married women with children who already worked in the department, 1 single man hired from outside with no prior experience) and concluded that women who have children might not show up for work if their kids got sick, whereas a single man would be more reliable. It didn't matter that one female applicant had a perfect attendance record and the other had only missed work once or twice (and had taken only a small fraction of her sick leave). Guess who they hired? Guess who then proceeded to never be at work, taking off early for golf, dates, and all sorts of other non-work related activities?

Now if I were to follow your reasoning, I would be perfectly within my rights to suspect that workplaces controlled by men were hostile to women, and to prefer not to work with/for men in general (or hire them either, as clearly "men" discriminate against women even when the law dictates otherwise!).

But I don't believe that, because some men are not all men. Oh, I left one out: the male employee who openly and repeatedly flouted the rules and whom I eventually fired for a flagrant offense that he had repeatedly been warned - in writing - would result in termination.

He filed an EO complaint with the state and I was investigated. So no, I don't buy the premise that merely being female somehow magically means no due process for men accused of violations of work rules. I have very good reason not to.

The plural of all these anecdotes - yours and mine - is not data.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 25, 2014 11:22 AM

Hi Cass,
Managers that ask those kinds of questions in the last 20 years are begging for a discrimination suit. I'm more than mildly surprised that your HR Dept didn't take action to discourage that kind of behavior.

As an employer, it's aok to ask about anything connected to genuine work / position requirements; personal issues are simply irrelevant, unless they would require an accommodation at work.
The two mostly male groups in my dept had a requirement by position to able able to travel on short notice (sometimes get on a flight in a couple hours) and be able to do it at least 2 - 3 times a month. Whether a prospective employee had kids, or what their child care arrangements were simply none of my business, but to be a project or quality engineer you needed to be a capable short term traveler.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at January 25, 2014 06:27 PM

But of course men are far more dangerous to work with, if you work out the statistics. The reason to prefer a man has to overcome that.

This is why office environments are increasingly female. It just makes good sense.

Posted by: Grim at January 25, 2014 07:50 PM

When you're applying for a job, you don't have an HR department. I interviewed for a job about 15 years ago that required frequent travel. I could tell the interview had gone well and the guy was ready to hire me. But because I was a mother to two teen boys whose husband deployed frequently (he was on an unaccompanied tour for one year at the time), I volunteered that I couldn't travel that much.

I don't consider that sort of thing to be discrimination at all. Employers should be able to ask questions like that. People have both personal preferences and duties that can preclude them from being able to do some jobs.

But if an employer says, "This job requires you to work m-f, 9-5 pm" and you say you can do that (or any other shift), I'm going to go out on a limb and say that asking if you have children and if so, who will care for them is a bit much. Aside from being illegal, that is.

There's the law, and what ought to be, and what is actually done. They're not always the same, and I would wager that most women who run into that sort of thing don't file suit. I didn't. As it happened, I moved out of state and lived apart from my husband for more than a year to be in a job market where people had more sense.

And I had no trouble finding a job.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 25, 2014 08:57 PM

Post a comment

To reduce comment spam, comments on older posts are put into moderation 5 days after the last activity. Comments with more than one link also go into moderation. If you don't see your comment after posting it, try refreshing the screen. If you still don't see it, your comment is probably in the moderation queue.




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)