The things women do to be taken seriously.
Last month, it was the tale of two entrepreneurs who invented a third, fake co-founder named Keith in order to get respect from their male collaborators.
Before that, there were the women who adopted more masculine-sounding names to up their odds of landing a job.
Today, it’s the story of a female chief executive who dramatically altered her appearance to get ahead.
Eileen Carey, CEO of diversity software provider Glassbreakers, says she dyed her blond hair brown, chose glasses over contact lenses, bought looser-fitting clothing, and wears minimal—if any—makeup to make male investors feel more comfortable and to deflect any flirtatious, workplace advances.
“I want to be seen as a business leader and not as a sexual object,” she told the BBC. “Those lines are still crossed very often in this space.”
Carey’s strategy is especially interesting since some research suggests that women ought to take the opposite approach and play up their “beauty premium” as much as possible. In 2011, Catherine Hakim, a professor of sociology at the London School of Economics, argued—rather controversially—that attractiveness is an important economic factor in women’s careers and they should use their “erotic capital”—their beauty, sex appeal, charm, dress sense, liveliness, and fitness—to their professional advantage. Another study from 2016 found that women who put time and effort into their hair and makeup might actually fare better financially than those who do not.
At the same time, other research concludes that women who master the use of the traits that are considered more “masculine”—aggressiveness, assertiveness, and confidence—are more likely to get promoted. To that point, there’s the fascinating case of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who was interrupted less often by her Supreme Court colleagues once she started talking more like a man.
What’s more frustrating than these mixed messages is that, in every instance, the onus is on women to convince workplaces to accept them, when, in reality, it should corporate cultures that change.
|Erna ekes it out|
|Norway PM Erna Solberg has become the first Conservative Party leader to win reelection in more than three decades after voters favored her in a tight contest on Monday. Her victory comes after she spent a record amount of Norway’s oil wealth to keep the country from sliding into a recession. |
|Quartz argues that in the political sex scandals that have repeatedly roiled South African politics—the latest involves deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa—men always seem to get off the hook. Instead, it’s the women involved—in some cases, alleged rape victims—who are most affected.|
|Considering their options|
|The ultra-orthodox Haredi community in Israel is slowly incorporating itself into the nation’s broader society. As Haredi women in particular pursue work outside the home and interact with the rest of the world, they’re learning to speak up about domestic abuse. |
|Read all about it|
|Hillary Clinton’s book What Happened about the 2016 presidential election is out today. The New York Times‘ Jennifer Senior says Clinton does indeed deliver on her promise of candor. Senior writes that the book is a “feminist manifesto,” “a score-settling jubilee,” and “worth reading.”|
|New York Times|
|Meg’s latest move|
|A few weeks after stepping down from the board of HP Inc., the personal computer and printing sibling of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HPE CEO Meg Whitman has joined the board of another company, cloud storage firm Dropbox. The move comes amid speculation about Whitman’s future at HPE following her very public candidacy for Uber’s since-filled CEO role.|
|President Donald Trump, the former owner of the Miss Universe franchise, has had some choice words for beauty queens in the past, having been accused of fat-shaming the former Miss Venezuela. On Sunday night, some beauty queens had a few choice words for him, as two Miss America contestants blasted the president’s approach to the violence in Charlottesville and the Paris climate accord. One of them, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund, ended up winning the crown.|
|Short and sweet|
|After an 11-year-old girl complained that mandatory skirts limited her movement—”I really love…doing handstands at recess and lunch. It is annoying doing these things in a skirt.”—public schools in Western Australia have decided to allow girls to wear shorts and trousers as part of their uniforms.|
|New York Times|
|For her doctoral thesis in criminology at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K., Madhumita Pandey has interviewed 100 convicted rapists in India. Her research showed her that these criminals are not necessarily monsters, but rather products of India’s patriarchal culture that’s teaching men false ideas about masculinity and women’s submissiveness. |
|Tabling a tradition|
|A long-held tradition in India dictates that men and children eat first, before women in the family partake. That’s resulted in women going hungry in some homes that are otherwise food-secure. A new campaign by the Rajasthan Nutrition Project seeks to solve the problem with a solution that’s considered radical in some parts of rural India: it’s suggesting that families eat together. |
|Patty Jenkins closes deal to direct ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel|
|A t-shirt company tries on a radical idea: Tees that fit actual women|
|The myth of the ISIS female suicide bomber|
|Gloria Steinem made her New York Fashion Week debut|
|The city hardest hit by Mexico’s earthquake is a sexually liberated matriarchy|
|—Actress Kristen Bell at an Orlando shelter as residents sought protection from the storm.|