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Around the Web this Week

November 27 - December 3

Stand out from the crowd!
Stand out from the crowd!
Why is it exactly that women shy away from bragging about their accomplishments? Could it be that women feel it is inherently unfeminine to champion yourself? What is the impact of this low self-confidence on the careers of women? Well research by Catalyst says that those who did the most to make their achievements known advanced further, were more satisfied with their careers and got better pay rises than those who didn’t... So self-confidence brings success. OK. But what about leadership? 
Research by Leslie Pratch at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business looked at how gender-based expectations and behavior influence the styles of leadership of men and women. She found that women are generally expected to display high levels of social qualities (concern with others, spontaneity, emotional expressiveness...). Men, on the other hand, are expected to display qualities associated with acting or exerting power, including independence, assertiveness, self-confidence, and instrumental competence. Her findings also indicate that women have to have high self-esteem and high self-confidence while leading in a "collaborative" style in order to be perceived as effective leaders. 


Around the Web this Week
If you haven't had a chance to follow the TEDxWomen event held this week, we strongly encourage you to check out the videos on their website. This year, the speakers gathered to discuss 4 themes: Resilience (The way women regroup, rebound, and rebuild after experiencing setbacks or loss, always moving forward), Relationships (The ties that bind us—to each other, to our communities, and to our most important institutions), ReBirth (How extended health, longevity, and an untapped potential is redefining women in their third act) and ReImagine (How women and girls imagine a better life – and a better world – and make their vision a reality, shaping a brighter future for us all). Each of the topics was created to serve as a continuation of the conversations started during the first-ever TEDWomen conference   which took place last December and connected over 10,000 people all over the world through locally organized TEDx movements.


Around the Web this Week
The Business and Professional Women's Foundation (BPW) released findings of a study it conducted with more than 660 women across the United States. It identified important challenges related to gender discrimination, work-life balance, and intergenerational workplace dynamics. More generally, this study debunked certain myths about the Gen Y woman (Millennial generation, last cohort of children wholly born in the 20th century). The first one is that gender discrimination is still an issue in the workplace, even for those young progressive types who are supposed to be above it all. Turns out that upward of 75% of Generation Y women believe that gender discrimination is still “a moderate or severe problem in today’s workplace.” And almost half say they’ve either witnessed or experienced gender discrimination themselves.
Among other findings, Gen Y women identified age bias as a pressing workplace issue. Survey results indicate that Gen Y women experience a double jeopardy -- gender and age. Gen Y women who had experienced gender discrimination were more likely to report generational conflict or discrimination than those who had not. 


Around the Web this Week
Tired of hearing that women are not as ambitious as men? Well, so is Kathy Caprino, contributor at Forbes. She thinks that ambition is not the issue, but it's the uphill battles women face when they want to pursue their ambitions - that explains why women don't get ahead in high numbers. Kathy Caprino says, and we agree with her, that spreading the conclusion that women aren't as ambitious as men is doing a lot of harm to the advancement of women. Instead, we should focus our attention on the personal sacrifices a woman must make in order to make it to the top. What will it take to see a shift in this situation? Firstly, society needs to be more comfortable with highly successful women - sadly, success and likability are still positively correlated in men, and negatively correlated in women. Secondly, society should stop putting men down for supporting their wives’ professional ascension and helping out on the childcare front... Most importantly, women have to believe they are as ambitious as men and they should stay true to both their personal and professional goals. 


Around the Web this Week
New research by an Australian University shows that women are significantly more likely to take risks when they’re around other women... Could it be that the lack of risk-taking by businesswomen is due to the low number of women around them? Professor Alison Booth from the Australian National University Research School of Economics tested whether single-sex classrooms in co-educational environments altered students’ risk-taking attitudes. She says “Women, even those endowed with an intrinsic propensity to make riskier choices, may be discouraged from doing so because they are inhibited by culturally-driven norms and beliefs about the appropriate mode of female behaviour-avoiding risk. But once they are placed in an all-female environment, this inhibition is reduced.” This research has positive implications for the labour market. Do you think women are naturally more risk averse than men? 


Around the Web this Week
This week, we wanted to showcase this inspiring story about a woman who quit her well-paid job as a trader to film a documentary on microlending for women. It resonates with the posts we published this week on career interruption. Rachel Cook, a trader, was inspired when she read an article in the New York Times about some women in the developing world who are overcoming insurmountable odds with the help of microfinance. Having always had an interest in film, she decided to make a documentary about it during her free time. All the while, she became more and more disillusioned with her job and took the plunge. She quit her trading job and started working on her documentary full-time. While she says jumping in the unknown and living off her savings has been scary, Rachel enjoys the thrill of the risks! Most importantly, she gets to do something that she truly believes in. She plans to complete her film shortly and has already submitted it to film festivals.


Dimanche 4 Décembre 2011

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