Forget Lean In: Advice to Working Women Not Welcome

I have never been a proponent of Lean In. Nor a fan of Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook, but that's another story -other than to say what she did to George Soros means she belongs in jail. And, she admitted it. ANYWAY...

So, I wasn't surprised by this article, All career Advice for Women is a Form of Gaslighting, challenging career advice for women. it's a great read. If you haven't time to read it all... this excerpt gives you some food for thought. Not ice cream, but food none the less.

"Empowerment advice for women provides an “illusion of control” that’s not realistic, the researchers say. The advice may be good insofar as it gives us hope, but it fails to recognize larger, much more powerful forces at work, like a long history of discrimination and patriarchy.

“We suspected that by arguing that women can solve the problem themselves, advocates of the ‘DIY’ approach may imply that women should be the ones to solve it—that it is their responsibility to do so,” they write. “We also hypothesized that this message could risk leading people to another, potentially dangerous conclusion: that women have caused their own under-representation.

To test their theories, the researchers conducted six studies on 2,000 male and female subjects in the US. Participants read text from Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, or listened to audio clips from her TED talks that describe the problem of women’s under-representation in leadership. Sandberg’s work was chosen for its prominence and because it advocates a DIY approach while also laying out the systemic problems that women face. This ensured that subjects got different messages from the same messenger—Sandberg.Some participants read or heard the DIY messages telling women to be more ambitious, speak confidently, demand a seat at the table, and take risks. Others read or listened to information about structural and societal factors causing under-representation, like discrimination.

It turned out that people who heard the DIY messages were more likely to believe women have the power to solve the problem and were also more likely to believe women are responsible for both causing and fixing gender issues. Meanwhile, subjects who heard about structural problems tended to see a need for institutions and society to address discrimination.“What’s more, these effects were even associated with people’s policy preferences,” the scientists write. For example, people who encountered the DIY messages were more likely to blame women in a subsequent study showing that code written by female engineers at Facebook was rejected more often than code written by men."

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