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Gender Differences in the Workplace


Gender Differences in the Workplace

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Jessica M. Moss
Jessica M. Moss
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Gender Differences in the Workplace
Kelsey Thornton
Kelsey Thornton
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On the whole I liked the article and agree with it.
One thing I might beg to differ on is the following statement:

Managers can help this by not [...] asking the female in the room to take notes, which would devalue her role in the discussion.

Whoever is taking the notes (be it male or female) might feel less "involved" in the discussion as it is happening, but often the note-taker will be asked to write a report or minutes of the meeting. If they are clever, and they feel so inclined, they can bend the report towards their own viewpoint without changing any material facts. This report will often be the most obvious lasting outcome of the meeting.

Kelsey Thornton
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kdv
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While no one is disputing the importance of the minutes of the meeting, I think the point that Jessica was making is that the facilitator should not assume that the woman in the meeting should take on the note-taking role.

Thanks for a well thought out commentary on women in technology roles. After being in the industry for many years, I'm still amazed at the small percentage of women in the field. Attending Microsoft's Tech Ed a few years ago was eye opening because only about 10% of the attendees were women.

However women need to take on some of the responsibility for growth in this area also. I've attended sessions on Women in Technology where the primary focus is Work/Life balance and family issues. I completely understand that these are critical areas and will continue to be as long as women still maintain the primary responsibilities for home and raising children as evidenced by many recent studies. However in these types of forums, wouldn't our time be better spent by trying to enhance careers, tackling some of the perception issues addressed in this forum, finding ways to encourage young women to enter this field? If we continue to focus on the family issues in professional forums, we only confirm the perception that women are not as interested in careers as men.
Kelsey Thornton
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kdv (10/7/2010)
While no one is disputing the importance of the minutes of the meeting, I think the point that Jessica was making is that the facilitator should not assume that the woman in the meeting should take on the note-taking role.

I wholeheartedly agree here. No-one should assume anything. I was not suggesting that the writer was incorrect in what she said, only in the implication that the note-taker was involved to a lesser extent than the others in the meeting.

Kelsey Thornton
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Tobar
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Nice Article.

The only thing I would add is that I would say we should not even rely on "Lasting impresions". We should always be listening and reacting in the "present" not filtering with the "past". It is something we all do but need to strive not to do. How many of us have worked for employer's whose lasting impression is that you do not know something and even when you have learned it and demonstrated proficiency they still do not recognize you as a contributor? You either give up and get back into "your place", possibly confirming your own lasting impression of yourself, or you find a new employer were you can "start fresh".

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TravisDBA
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I disagree Jessica, the world just doesn't work that way. Ideally, it should, but it just doesn't, and as long as human nature is in the equation in the workplace, it never will. As Tobar stated people have their own perceptions that aren't always in line with reality, and that tends to color their viewpoints, and that isn't something you can legislate at the workplace. :-D

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ...:-D"
Carol Wickenheiser
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Thank you, Jessica, for your well thought out editorial. I am fortunate that in my workplace and work community I am treated very fairly. Women have many leadership positions in our local and regional GIS (Geographic Information Systems) organizations. GIS was in the past a male dominated career but in the past 11 years that I have been involved in it more and more women are joining the ranks, and as a compliment to my male colleagues we are equally respected. Hopefully this trend will continue and will branch out into other technology fields.
Steve Jones
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Thanks, Jessica, for a well written editorial.

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sjimmo
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Thanks Jessica, very good article.

I remember that when I was interviewed for a position at a very large company, the one question that stands out in my mind was "Do you have a problem working for a woman?" My response was absolutely not. I had just retired from the military and my last commander had been a woman. I did question why we had such a question in that day and age (20 years ago) and was told I would find out. Well, at the first senior management meeting, I found that out of 23 senior managers of that division, only 2 were male. We were proud to be the tokens, and found ALL to be professional, knowledgeable and it was a great group to be with.

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Dizzy Desi
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TravisDBA (10/7/2010)
I disagree Jessica, the world just doesn't work that way. Ideally, it should, but it just doesn't, and as long as human nature is in the equation in the workplace, it never will. As Tobar stated people have their own perceptions that aren't always in line with reality, and that tends to color their viewpoints, and that isn't something you can legislate at the workplace. :-D


Jessica's editorial was very well thought out and well written. I think she would agree with you that the world doesn't work that way. However, where you seem to be saying that human nature can't evolve, Jessica's take was that it can evolve and improve if we strive to act professionally.

Our professional and respectful behavior should be focused upon everyone we encounter, whether in the workplace or not.
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