The subtleties of gender bias

In the eighties, I worked on a project that required me to travel with a team to a site where we had to sign in and wear badges. We went there about once every month for over a year. It drove me crazy because the security guards (both male and female) would hand me my badge and say, “Here you go, Carol,” and then hand the male team member his badge with, “Here you go, Mr. James.”

Today, thirty years later, the same thing happened. A receptionist called me “Carol,” and my husband, “Mr. Anderson.” Dang. Wouldn’t you think we would have evolved, given all of the focus on diversity and inclusion?

In the nineties, I headed a diversity initiative for a bank. One of the elephants hanging around the room in those days was the chatter among female executives who were learning to play golf because they were tired of having business discussion occur on the golf course when they weren’t there. (more…)

For you, Uncle Bill

bill bob collae[My apologies for straying somewhat from the business theme of my blog, but part of success in business is understanding and tolerance.]

When I was a little girl in the 50s, my uncle Bill was my favorite uncle. He always remembered my birthday, and he had this Thunderbird convertible that was way-cool, and his friend Bob was a special person. He was my “Uncle Bob.”

As I got older, I’d hear my parents talking about Uncle Bill “having” to move again. That seemed to happen more and more frequently. His friend, Bob, always moved with him. When I asked about why they kept moving, I’d get these vague answers, like there was something more to the story, but I was too young to hear it.

My mom and I would travel to visit my uncles, but my dad would never go with us. My mom loved her brother, and worried for him but I never understood why. Our visits to their homes were fun; they’d show us everything in the different towns in Texas. We’d take the train from Illinois which was a treat. (more…)

Cliques-R-Us

separated_from_group_400_clr_9554I was an overweight, shy, only-child who moved every other year. I attended 11 schools from K through 12; tough to build friendships.  In college, I made a very deliberate decision to change who I was, I lost weight, found a sorority with like-minded sisters, and learned social skills I’d not learned before. I then was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Marine Corps, and left that sad child behind. I don’t get intimidated often, but when I do, it is usually the “mean girls” from high school that flip my trigger.

What do I mean by “mean girls?” Well, hopefully the Rachel McAdams stereotype has grown up to be less overt, and more caring. Honestly, if she didn’t I think she will struggle in today’s workforce. (more…)