Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another ugly stereotype of women in the workplace

Sometimes I read articles about women in tech that make me angry, sometime they make me laugh. They rarely make me sad but this one did.

Penelope Trunk wrote a piece for BNET titled: Are Startups Better as Single-Gender Affairs? Based on the author's experience in three startups it reinforces the stereotypes that women and men can't work together because they are too different and just can't get along.

This is just simply not true, but feeds the confidence of the men who don't want to bring women into the workplace, or who want to pigeon hole them into safe roles. Why do women do this to themselves? Why do they reinforce stereotypes that hold women back?

Penelope cites that while she cried, the guys threw a fit, and this was too much drama for a small company. Ugh. Women cry, and trust me men cry too. Women use anger, and so do men. Everyone is emotional under pressure, male and female, and they show it in different ways. Some are overly timid, others are assholes. The tension certainly shows up but it's not gender related.

Maybe I should not give her opinion credence by reacting to it, but BNET published it so it's out there. Maybe I should ignore BNET from now on?

Diverse teams are simply more effective in small and large companies. They produce better results most of the time. But like any creative force they take management and leadership. Without that any team, all men or all women, will not succeed. And as female leaders we need to be very skilled because there are still too many people who are biased or ignorant of the benefits of women in leadership positions alongside of men.

And instead of hurting women's chances in new ventures, women need to help other women until we have a decent balance in tech.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Penny, this is my first time reading your blog, thank you for sharing. I am currently going to school at Kapiolani Community College located in Honolulu, HI. and doing a research paper on Women in the workplace! If you don't mind, I will be using your site, as a source. I love it.
Aloha,
KCC Student

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