The Thinking 

Lies about Powerful Women

October 23, 2012


ONE WOULD think that women chief executives were flooding American corporations, judging from the constant press about the needs, desires, whims, career advice and amazing, totally breathtaking and awesome accomplishments of female CEO’s, such as the darling of the business world, Marissa Mayer, above, who recently returned to work as CEO of Yahoo just two weeks after giving birth to her first child at the age of 37. One would even think, given the press, that women make better top executives than men. A recent issue of Fortune magazine actually made this claim and it has been repeated elsewhere, most notably by EU bureaucrats who want to mandate that 40 percent of all directors of European corporate boards be women. There is a pervasive myth that female-headed companies are more stable and better-performing, a conclusion that not only flies in the face of the documented history of free enterprise but cannot possibly be proven given the low numbers of women at the top. For despite decades of celebration of women in business and decades of pressure to discriminate in favor of women, they still occupy less than four percent of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies. This year, the total is 18 out of 500. According to the research firm Catalyst, women occupy about 14 percent of executive officer positions in all companies and the figures in general for women in corporate leadership have not risen in six years. Six years! Six years of glowing encomia to women executives.

The truth is, it is not possible to draw any conclusions about the comparative performance of women executives except the obvious one: There aren’t many women at the top. All the profiles of glamorous CEO’s such as Ginni Rometty, of IBM; all the breathless stories about whether Marissa should have left her son so soon and all the aggressive affirmative action in favor of women haven’t made that much difference. Women are still interesting novelties in the chief executive suite, and everyone wants to know how they do it because everyone knows, though no one will say it, that women will aways be anomalies at the top. Barring some dramatic and overwhelming revolution in human nature, women are not as competitive, or as comfortable in positions of authority, as men. They do not wish to make the grueling climb to the top. Everyone knows this, except, of course, feminists, who claim that women are still discriminated against or lack “sponsorship” or “on ramps and off ramps.” Many millions in consulting fees have gone into various forms of flexibility and “on ramps and off ramps” for women in business but these efforts have not changed much at the top. What they have done is keep the tantalizing dream alive that women can have everything. What they have done is create positive discrimination against men and a stifling fear of offending feminist groupthink. What they also have done is create a culture in which fewer and fewer women can find men to support them so that they can do what they want to do most.

By the way, in case you were wondering, Mayers has named her son, Macallister. She asked for suggestions for a name on social media after he was born. One wonders how Macallister will feel years from now when he digs into the archives and finds that his mother bragged that she would only be taking a week or so off from work after he was born and that the above cover photo appeared when she was nine months pregnant.

—– Comments —–

Kathlene M. writes:

I’m not impressed by Ms. Mayer.Check out this video of her. I cannot imagine how men (let alone women) can handle working under someone who “totally” speaks like this.

By the way, she is an Obama bundler, and that says everything I need to know about why she was chosen as a “powerful” woman: She supports the “correct” causes of the day, and she’s attractive.

Laura writes:

She’s not a dumb woman; she graduated from Stanford with honors in computer science. But she sure sounds like a Valley Girl.

You’re right. An attractive female CEO is more likely to be used for publicity purposes. Mayer’s fashion choices and personal life are closely followed. For a company like Yahoo, that can’t hurt.

Alissa writes:

 First child at the age of 37? That’s old my goodness. Feminists show their true colours constantly harping about the “glass ceiling”. What about the “glass floor” where there is a lot of men too? Equality is a myth, but what’s even better is that for all of their claims of equality, it’s all about female supremacy, and creating caste systems in the U.S.A. (arguably people talk and communicate less with people from different classes today).

Laura writes:

It seems likely that Macallister will have no siblings.

Kathlene M. writes:

Apparently, from other videos I’ve now seen of Marissa Mayer, she is cute and she giggles a lot.  I’m sure she’s very competent at writing computer code, and she seems very nice, likeable, and sweet, but she doesn’t seem to be CEO material.   But maybe this is what Silicon Valley and our society define as leadership these days.  That would explain how we ended up with Obama as President.

Here, she giggles at various points during presentation at Stanford University.

Here, she is cute and giggly in a few spots.

Here, she seems nervous among a panel of fashionistas; says “really”, “like” and “you know” alot.  Because she comes off sounding like a Valley Girl, this unfortunately undermines any intelligence she may possess.

Jane S. writes:

These rhodomontades about women executives always focus on the same things: how accomplished they are, and how worthy of envy and admiration.

Just once, I would like to hear a series of anecdotes about what it’s really like to work for these women. I could add plenty. In my experience, work settings where women are running the show are the worst and the most dysfunctional.

This is not to say I haven’t encountered men who are difficult to work with—I certainly have. But in my work history, it’s always the women who are actively engaged in dysfunctional behaviors and hatching poisonous little conspiracies of hate.

I once knew a professor of organizational psychology, and he said something I’ve never forgotten: some organizations are set up to implode. You wonder why they act in ways that are detrimental and self-destructive; that’s what they are programmed to do. That, to me, is virtually the definition of a female-run organization.

Laura writes:

According to surveys cited in Steve Moxon’s The Woman Racket, women and men both prefer to work for male bosses. That said, neither sex makes for perfect bosses.

Lawrence Auster writes:

That’s absurd, she is not nine months pregnant in that photo.

Laura writes:

They used a photo from the previous year because Ms. Mayer declined to pose pregnant.

Mr. Auster writes:

 Then where did the information come from that she is nine months pregnant in that photo?

Laura to Mr. Auster:

I said the photo appeared when she was nine months pregnant.

  Terry Morris writes:

Is there such a thing as a “powerful woman” who is not a homemaker bearing and raising future powerful men and the future wives of future powerful men, or not a woman such as Joan of Arc and Mother Theresa, who leaves a powerful and lasting legacy when she is gone?

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