Monday, December 9, 2013

Women in the Workplace + Entrepreneurship

The following articles popped up in my LinkedIn feed today - the first, in particular, seems pretty relevant for today's discussion of workplace issues.

Article 1: "When Gender Gets in the Way of Sponsorship"
"Sponsorship is a necessarily close relationship. Getting to know each other well enough to establish trust demands regular one-on-one encounters, possibly over the phone but more typically in person, sometimes at work but often outside of it. But how close is too close?
Sex — or the specter of it — haunts sponsorship, prompting men and women to avoid the professional partnerships necessary to achieve their career goals for fear of being censured, fired, or sued. According to my research, 95% of men and 93% of women say they find it easiest to give and receive guidance in a one-on-one setting. Yet 64% of senior men (vice president and above) and 50% of up-and-coming women admit they’re hesitant to initiate any sort of one-on-one with the opposite sex lest their motives be misconstrued by their colleagues and rumors start poisoning the workplace."
This article features the bios of several incredible women who've started their own companies. Here's a preview:
Lisa Stone, Founder of BlogHer
"In early 2005, Stone and her co-founders Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins noticed that there were countless women blogging, but mainstream media rarely linked to their posts. The trio decided to host a grassroots conference that year and attracted sponsors like Google and Yahoo. It quickly sold out and soon after, they launched The publishing platform turned blogging into a lucrative business for many women -- it paid $25 million to 5,000 of its bloggers between 2009 and 2012 -- and now reaches an audience of 92 million."


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  2. Shree, Thank you for sharing these articles. I found the first one particularly pertinent because it explains women's limited opportunity for advancing within the workforce. Given that women are afraid of working one-on-one with potential sponsors for fear of poisonous rumors, it makes sense that they take less risks to get into workplace leadership positions. The article goes on to explain possible solutions, which I believe are relevant and appropriate to deal with the issue. I thought it was interesting that the author suggests that women publicize your personal life in order to avoid false rumors -- I never would have thought being more open about personal issues helps to accelerate your upward mobility within the workplace.