One of the biggest myths about professional women and success is that it's easier to get ahead in the workplace if you exhibit traditionally "masculine" qualities. Often these perceived traits include being assertive, confident, solution-focused, and ambitious. If it were true that men always behaved this way, and women never did, "think like a man" would be great career advice. But, there's one glaring flaw in that wisdom.
By now, everybody has heard about the gender pay gap. Women in the workforce don't earn as much as men, whether you're comparing overall earnings or comparing men and women working in the same jobs. But despite the data, debates still rage on in the media about whether gender inequity in the workplace is real. A new report from PayScale illustrates just how strongly this inequity is felt by women. Based on a sample size of over 140,000 employees taking the PayScale Salary Survey, 67 percent of men say there is equal opportunity for men and women in most workplaces, while only 38 percent of women say the same. This perception gap is even wider in the tech industry despite widespread media coverage of tech's gender problem.
The expectation of working long hours comes with the territory in a lot of industries. The culture of some companies necessitates a high-paced, high-pressure, work-until-you-can-work-no-more lifestyle in order to get ahead – or even to stick around.
This weekend, Joanne Lipman, former deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, offered a slightly different spin on the usual career advice for women hoping to finally achieve pay equity and equal opportunity in the workplace: namely, she focused on men, specifically male managers. Some commentators were less than thrilled.
Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case involving a pregnant woman and the claim of workplace discrimination. According to court documents, Peggy Young requested a weight-lift restriction of 20 pounds from UPS, based on a doctor's recommendation, when she became pregnant in 2008. Instead, she was put on unpaid leave, without benefits.
Ten years ago, Dr. Lois Frankel wrote Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office. At the time, it had quite the impact. Frankel helped women understand that the societal pressure they'd received to be nice, and their desire to be liked by their co-workers, was negatively affecting their success.
Sheryl Sandberg famously instrumental in Facebook's success also struck up an important national discussion about gender equality in the workplace. The tech giant's chief operating officer recently spoke with the Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital about what's changed and what still needs changing after book "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead" too the world by storm.