Women constantly confront double standards in their personal and professional lives. That's not really news. We're expected to pursue strong careers without coming off as assertive or "bossy." We're told to join the boys' club, only to find the doors blocked by traditional ideals of propriety. We're told to participate in our offices, only to find out that means taking meeting notes and playing social chair. The list goes on.
But while these double standards aren't necessarily news, they are still making headlines. In August, four articles specifically address some common conundrums for women in the workplace and public service. They may not be news, but they're definitely worth a read:
When It's Hard for Women to Find Male Mentors You might recall that Vice President Pence declared he wouldn't have a private meal with a female work colleague because he feels it is inappropriate. There were quite a few articles that criticized the practice at the time, but I like this more recent interview with UCLA professor Kim Elsessor. Elsessor points out that excluding women from male-organized gatherings - whether a one-on-one meeting or a group gathering - is far more frequent than we realize and it's often unconscious. Nevertheless, it can really hurt women's career progressions.
How Women Can Get Kudos for Assertiveness at Work It's no secret that women receive more criticism than men for being equally assertive. However, a new study shows that's not always the case. At least, it seems that when women are being assertive for a group's cause, they are penalized less. On the one hand, this is a great workaround for showing leadership skills in the workplace without negative repercussions tied to gender stereotypes. Nevertheless, needing a workaround in the first place remains problematic. This article explores both sides of that argument.
Women are Charging Past Men for Jobs in America Over the past couple of years, a few surveys (e.g. this one and this one) have intimated that the stay-at-home mom might be on the rise. This more recent article draws from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to counter that assertion. The share of 25- to 54-year-old women either employed or actively looking for a job rose to a seven-year high in July, 2017. Despite this trend, it's even more impressive that male-dominated fields like mining are high on the Trump administration's list of industries to enhance.
The New Order of Black Military Servicewomen Admittedly, this article isn't a deep dive into entrenched gender issues or an in-depth survey. But with the recent ban on transgender personnel in the military, it's nice to see a bit of positive news coming from the Defense Department regarding it's treatment of minorities and women. This Vogue feature shows how African-American women are now serving in this male-dominated field without sacrificing their hygiene or beauty preferences.
In case you missed them, check out this month’s other GovFem posts:
Every month, GovFem compiles a list of the top articles about women in government from around the web. If you have an article you think should be included in next month’s reading list, email [email protected] with your suggestions.