Maybe the problem with women in high-power senior management positions is that they require a person to act “like a man”, and when people see women acting like a man they tend to distrust and/or dislike it.
Another way to look at this is to imagine a powerful, respected “classical” CEO. The image of a man comes to mind. But that’s not quite the problem. The problem is: Now imagine a woman who acts in the same fashion as that person: Curt, decisive, non-emotional (except anger and intimidation), etc.
How many men would like to date or marry that woman?
Exactly. So if a woman behaves in that way the overwhelming feeling that both men and women are likely to get from her is that it’s “unnatural”. This is a problem.
Quite simply, in order for women to act like a high-powered CEO is “supposed” to act, she has to step outside of her expected, natural behavior outside of the office. This is while men acting in precisely the same way are seen as the epitome of their gender.
That’s the incline we face with gender equality in the workplace. Look honestly at how gender roles work outside of the office, and then we’ll understand better why they work the way they do on the inside.
- This has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong. I’m simply pointing out that there is a chasm of difference between how women are expected to behave inside and outside the office in order to be desirable to friends and mates.