Gini Dietrich

Achieving Workplace Equality

By: Gini Dietrich | August 15, 2011 | 
223

Last week Sean McGinnis sent Margie Clayman and me an old blog post (old meaning 18 months old) that Clay Shirky wrote.

Without even clicking on the link, I knew “A Rant About Women” was going to make me mad.

I read half of the post before I got really angry. Then, in disgust, I closed it and didn’t go back to it.

But it kept nagging at me. So I gave it a second shot. And then a third and fourth. And then I read some of the 511 comments.

And, in typical Gini fashion, I won’t be able to let it go until I write about it. 

A Rant About Women

The premise of Shirky’s blog post is that women are not self-promotional, which holds us back. He quotes a magazine editor who tells a friend of his that men promote themselves all the time, but women wait for people to take notice.

I suppose that’s true. I know I’m guilty of it…having been raised to believe that if you work hard, eventually people will notice.

He goes on to say that, in order for us to be treated equally, we must be forceful and self-confident. He says:

It’s tempting to imagine that women could be forceful and self-confident without being arrogant or jerky, but that’s a false hope, because it’s other people who get to decide when they think you’re a jerk, and trying to stay under that threshold means giving those people veto power over your actions.

And therein lies the problem. When we act like men, we’re seen as as the word that begins with a B…you know, another name for a female dog.

The Glass Ceiling

But even if we acted like men, had the self-confidence to be called mean names, and were forceful and self-promotional, there still is a glass ceiling.

I’ve written about how I had to create a fake personality for Charles Arment, my “business partner,” who doesn’t exist, in oder to do business in the early stages of Arment Dietrich.

Charles was a great partner. He gave me negotiation power. Prospects took me seriously. And he didn’t exist.

I’ve always figured if you can’t fight the battle, join them…and then have the last laugh. I beat the glass ceiling with my own Remington Steele.

Why Can’t We Just Be Women?

One of the commenters, Laurence, said:

I just say that the male assertiveness/self-belief that Clay espouses has been running the planet for the last five (or so) milllenia, and look what a f* up job we have done. And we want women to learn how to behave like us? Pleeeease.

I don’t know that I necessarily agree that men have screwed everything up, but I don’t think we need to learn how to behave like men, anymore than men need to learn how to behave like us.

Each gender has strengths and each has weaknesses. Why not let us just be women, without trying to be men, and let each gender enhance the others’ strengths? I’m willing to admit men are better at some things…just like we’re better at others.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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223 responses to “Achieving Workplace Equality”

  1. KnealeMann says:

    What a shame we are still talking about this in 2010. I have a close friend who was railing on me last week for the wrong doings of the male portion of the human race. I had to explain that it wasn’t my fault for million of years of (d)evolution. Men who are forceful are deemed ambitious while women who are same are – insert insult here? We men should ashamed of ourselves. However, self-promoters who do it endlessly are annoying no matter their gender.

  2. SoloBizCoach says:

    Great article Gini. I think that women need to be confident, but I think they have to act like men. The best women bosses that I have had have been confident, but relied on their natural strengths, not fake assertiveness.

    One woman comes to mind in particular. She was an absolute people person. She made me feel important and needed. She certainly was assertive, but she was a great leader.

  3. KenMueller says:

    This is an issue that burns me up. I even wrote a response post to Shirky as as guest post on a friend’s blog. (http://www.onewomanmarketing.com/devil-woman ) it irked me so much. Just be yourself and work hard, regardless of your gender.

  4. KenMueller says:

    and I’ll add, that the best boss I’ve ever had was a woman. On the other hand, the worst boss I ever had was also a woman, and I would have to say that a part of why she sucked is that she was “the bitch”, the self-promotional control freak. Over the years I’ve worked for more women than men, and they ran the gamut from great to lousy, regardless.

  5. Ameena Falchetto says:

    Why should women act like men? Confidence, ability and competence are not exclusively masculine traits. A successful woman doesn’t have to be an androgynous person who relinquishes her femininity in order to be taken seriously and succeed. I personally feel that asserting your femininity and demanding to be respected and taken seriously will take you a lot further a lot of men. If need be, slap some extra mascara on, batt those eyelashes and watch the, ahem, “stronger” sex become distracted. End of.

  6. Ameena Falchetto says:

    @SoloBizCoach How can a woman act like a man? Why should they? Should a man, in a typically female profession act like a woman? Wouldn’t that be creepy? What’s wrong with being true to yourself?

  7. Shonali says:

    Not only “why can’t we just be women,” but “why can’t we just be the women we ARE,” instead of trying to be other women. My $0.02. FWIW.

  8. Shonali says:

    Not only “why can’t we just be women,” but “why can’t we just be the women we ARE,” instead of trying to be other women. My $0.02. FWIW.

  9. Shonali says:

    Not only “why can’t we just be women,” but “why can’t we just be the women we ARE,” instead of trying to be other women. My $0.02. FWIW.

  10. Why are we dividing personalities by gender? or race? or religion?

    Imagine for one minute if someone wrote a post titled A rant about Africa-Americans, or a rant about Jews? Seriously.

  11. @Shonali For Wine I Will. These are copyrighted to Davina 🙂

  12. @Shonali For Wine I Will. These are copyrighted to Davina 🙂

  13. NoobieGrewUp__ says:

    @JessicaNorthey @ginidietrich

  14. 1doctrno says:

    @JessicaNorthey @ginidietrich Get me some coffee,,cream,,& lets talk about it..

  15. 1doctrno says:

    @JessicaNorthey @ginidietrich Have A Little Bitty Dance should Be a Hot Hit!! http://t.co/BDpYRPj Make A New discovery

  16. fitzternet says:

    “When we act like men, we’re seen as as the word that begins with a B…you know, another name for a female dog.”

    Uh… Shirky admits to lying to get what he wants and he calls men arrogant “self-aggrandizing jerks,” “self-promoting narcissists,” anti-social obsessives, and “pompous blowhards.”

    There’s a word for that. Starts with a “D,” ends with a “bag.” I’m sorry, but Shirky is assuming all guys are snake oil salesman and women need to be too. Fail.

  17. fitzternet says:

    @SoloBizCoach I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that women are not confident by nature and if they display confidence and assertiveness they are acting like men. Some women are more confident than others, same goes for men.

    Donald Trump, Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt – four very different people, all very successful. Is Trump the manliest because he’s a blowhard? Is Cuban sort of a man because he played rugby in college and can be loud and aggressive?

    I guess what I’m saying is, where do the generalizations end?

  18. Shonali says:

    @John Falchetto Ha!

  19. NancyD68 says:

    Oh boy – here I go….I have worked with some men who prefer me to just be pretty and not say anything. “We want your feedback” has come to mean “we want your feedback only if it is positive”

    I realize that it is not an issue of me being a woman, but rather of me being the wrong woman to work with these particular men. I have been asked my opinion on issues and answer in a confident manner to find out that not only do they not want my opinion, they only ask as a courtesy.

    I find that the more forceful I am, the worse it gets. No one wants to deal with that. There must be a balance between being confident and knowing when not to back down, and just shutting up and going with the flow.

    I work with some men who watch “Mad Men” a bit too much.I have been dealing with ongoing sexual harassment on this job. I just keep track of everything and change the subject when they get too “friendly”

    *sigh*

  20. HowieSPM says:

    Clay is wrong. It is chauvinist men. It is the baby thing. I have heard men with less game that women discussing in private whether or not to hire a woman who might leave to have a child. Whether to promote them. Give them raises. This is from my years working for Industrial Parts Businesses.

    Their reasoning sadly is based on partial fact. Older men who have been around for years will say very simply – ‘They all say they are coming back after they have the kid. Most do not’ To me this is a load of crap if you then settle for someone less qualified because they are male. I get the whole ‘We will be investing X dollars and they leave’. But there is the flaw! Their own stupid reasoning. Because the private sector is employment at will there is no loyalty by workers or employees. Who says the man you invest training on and groom for leadership doesn’t bail at a better offer. Isn’t that the same thing? Doesn’t that happen all the time?

    I also think often women in business to get to the top have to work harder and be hard asses. One of my early mentors rocked Coworkers would say ‘How does it feel to work for bitch Janet?” I would respond it is great to work for her. In fact the only reason you don’t like her is because she is a hardass when you don’t do your job and it affects my job.” Yet when a man does this they get looked at as authoritative? Are you kidding?

  21. HowieSPM says:

    @NancyD68 men can really suck.If you could prove harrassment Nancy you can make bank!

    BTW what is Mad Men?

  22. HowieSPM says:

    @John Falchetto you have a point, The post is about gender equality. And it is a serious work place issue in the US. But the title misrepresented because it did not include all the other forms of inequality.

  23. NancyD68 says:

    @HowieSPM Mad Men is a TV show about ad men who like to play “grabby hands” with the female staff. They all think they are cool. Bunch of arrogant jerks is what they are.

  24. lisarobbinyoung says:

    Whoopi Goldberg did the “Arment” thang with her movie “The Associate”. And there are a few examples of women that are making good money in the world.

    I think another side of this issue may be that women don’t “WANT” as much as guys do, so we don’t push as hard. I have many clients who have no desire to make seven figures – they just want a comfortable lifestyle. And my Mom used to say that the more zeroes there are at the end of a figure, the more responsibility and stress accompany it. I used to think that was sour grapes coming from my “welfare mom”, but it’s entirely true when you look at the demands of corporate life. I worked for years in the automotive industry where plenty of people “left the building parallel” from all the stress of the place.

  25. lisarobbinyoung says:

    Whoopi Goldberg did the “Arment” thang with her movie “The Associate”. And there are a few examples of women that are making good money in the world.

    I think another side of this issue may be that women don’t “WANT” as much as guys do, so we don’t push as hard. I have many clients who have no desire to make seven figures – they just want a comfortable lifestyle. And my Mom used to say that the more zeroes there are at the end of a figure, the more responsibility and stress accompany it. I used to think that was sour grapes coming from my “welfare mom”, but it’s entirely true when you look at the demands of corporate life. I worked for years in the automotive industry where plenty of people “left the building parallel” from all the stress of the place.

  26. lisarobbinyoung says:

    Whoopi Goldberg did the “Arment” thang with her movie “The Associate”. And there are a few examples of women that are making good money in the world.

    I think another side of this issue may be that women don’t “WANT” as much as guys do, so we don’t push as hard. I have many clients who have no desire to make seven figures – they just want a comfortable lifestyle. And my Mom used to say that the more zeroes there are at the end of a figure, the more responsibility and stress accompany it. I used to think that was sour grapes coming from my “welfare mom”, but it’s entirely true when you look at the demands of corporate life. I worked for years in the automotive industry where plenty of people “left the building parallel” from all the stress of the place.

  27. HowieSPM says:

    @Ameena Falchetto @SoloBizCoach wait you forget some men and women in the LGBT community do act like the opposite sex and it is natural to them. See sexuality is way to confusing.

    The real question is how can people with the same skills get paid equally in the work place without gender, racial, or religious stereotypes or oppression skew the pay in favor of one group or another.

    If a Drag Queen is better at direct sales than me they should be paid more. Oh and allowed to dress in Drag at work 8)

  28. HowieSPM says:

    @Ameena Falchetto @SoloBizCoach wait you forget some men and women in the LGBT community do act like the opposite sex and it is natural to them. See sexuality is way to confusing.

    The real question is how can people with the same skills get paid equally in the work place without gender, racial, or religious stereotypes or oppression skew the pay in favor of one group or another.

    If a Drag Queen is better at direct sales than me they should be paid more. Oh and allowed to dress in Drag at work 8)

  29. DoTime_WX says:

    We should let everyone’s track record speak for itself. Regardless of sex, the ability to be productive, effective, and efficient in the workplace is most important.

    I know women in the casting business who do an exceptional job. Sheila Jaffe, Carolyn Pickman, Angela Peri, Christine Wyse, Maura Tighe & Anne Mulhall are just a few in a long list. They have the ability to be feminine and produce results. Each of them is self confident without being the B word. Though I understand how certain men would feel threatened by a confident, intelligent female. Our upbringing and culture has conditioned that reaction.

    Online there are multitudes of smart, productive, confident ladies whose advice and input is always welcome. They include: @nittyGriddyBlog @ginidietrich @sidneyeve @socialmarketerx @annmcharles @mschneiderCNN @michelelinn @lvanderkam @Ray_anne

  30. DoTime_WX says:

    @HowieSPM HowieSPM, very good points. Females do have to work very hard, especially in certain sectors, to get ahead.

  31. Hajra says:

    I read this after I fight with 5 men at work! Yes, call me the b**** but working solely with men has had this effect. I am working with a marine company helping them with the personnel management with a project and the other 15 people (all men) on the team feel that I am underage, unqualified, have problems with me not being an engineer and basically..”what’s girl doing here?”

    I wouldn’t disagree with people saying that women wait to get that attention but then because we have just been raised in a society that emphasizes female beauty and brain comes in later. I mean, why weren’t men told to wax their legs?

    Treat a girl like she needs to be treated and things will go just fine. At workplace all that matters is productivity and outcome and efficiency, a woman can do it just as well!

  32. DoTime_WX says:

    @fitzternet True, not all men are that way and let’s hope not all women follow that assumption.

  33. @HowieSPM You are right, workplace equality is a huge topic. Look at equality for disabled people also. Imagine writing A rant about people in wheelchairs.

    why do we even discuss posts written by such people?

  34. HowieSPM says:

    @NancyD68 now I know why I never watch TV except for South Park, Daily Show and Robot Chicken.

  35. EricaAllison says:

    @HowieSPM Wouldn’t you rather have a year or two of wonderful than a lifetime of mediocrity? Invest in the woman; no one knows what she will do after that baby arrives. Why not go for the gold and enjoy her talents and skills while she IS there, instead of lamenting about the time that she MAY not be there on her return?

    Sad, but true assessment Howie!

  36. […] example this morning that caught my eye that perhaps illustrates the right side of the line … Gini Dietrich references her making up a fictitious male partner for her company (this was several years ago, apparently). Looking through the comments on the original post, it […]

  37. EricaAllison says:

    Bleh!

    Why can’t we all just get along? 🙂

    Seriously, why does this continue to happen? Why do I get a different score card than my male counterparts? The answer: because we are different and we all have different motivators in life that drive us or “interrupt” us. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to just say we should treat each other the same, regardless of our gender. We aren’t wired that way. We discriminate based on our preconceived notions.

    You know my thoughts on the mompreneur concept so I won’t belabor them here. I will say that the only way we can continue to change the perception is to be ourselves and excel at that. We really don’t have many other choices. Yes, we can invent fictitious business partners that embolden our status in the world, but then when the veil comes off we may have done more damage than good in the end and be right back where we started. We can also use whatever feminine or masculine attributes we think are important enough to help us navigate the system. At the end of the day however, it’s what’s really within our own control (our skills and our talent) that should be measured and evaluated. Until that’s the way it is, we’ll still run into this situation. And just like you do with SpinSucks – fighting the good fight against spin; I think think it’s imperative that we as professional women fight the good fight against stupidity in the workplace.

    This is important to me as I teach both my son and my daughter how to be who they are and work within the systems that we have been given.

  38. EricaAllison says:

    please forgive the type-os! hurried typing never wins!!!

  39. NancyD68 says:

    @HowieSPM I never watched it either. I think we are of like mind on what TV shows to watch!

  40. AmyMccTobin says:

    I read one by Penny Strunk a couple of weeks ago that also caused me to blow a gasket. Read it only if you want to get MORE angry: http://www.bnet.com/blog/startup-tips/are-startups-better-as-single-gender-affairs/168?promo=COMBINED&tag=nl.rCOMBINED#57842_294631

    I did not know the Arment story, but I completely get it, and the ‘glass ceiling’ is why I work for myself. In my last job as a VP of Sales (after I’d shattered all company records for Sales as a rep.) a new boss told me that I was ‘too emotional.’ This from a man who had landed in HR more than once for firing someone in anger. My reply:”I have never cried at work, I have NEVER lost my temper and yelled at an employee, and I have NEVER been called into HR for inappropriate behavior. Don’t EVER mistake passion for emotional behavior. It is what has made me great.”

    As a self employed marketing consultant I get to ignore so much of this BS because, once in front of potential clients for a presentation, I make them forget my gender. But my company is named Ariel Marketing Group for the same reason yours is not named solely after you.

    I’m afraid we still have to work twice as hard to get noticed, but it’s become part of my make up now. I fear that my daughter will still be ranting over these kinds of articles in 20 years.

  41. AmyMccTobin says:

    PS: The BITCH title is now a badge of honor in my book.

  42. @EricaAllison@HowieSPM “Wouldn’t you rather have a year or two of wonderful than a lifetime of mediocrity?”

    Wow…how I love that.

  43. Hahah. I knew you wouldn’t be able to leave that one alone….

    I do love my Gini Dietrants! Off to find some more feeder material to plan under your skin @ginidietrich Ciao!

  44. HowieSPM says:

    @Sean McGinnis@EricaAllison or 50 minutes with Gumby?

  45. Erin F. says:

    @fitzternet I’m not sure where the generalizations end, except person by person. Each person is different. Like you said, some are more confident than others. Some have to work harder to be assertive. There’s nothing wrong with that. Every single one of us has stronger and weaker traits, and we have to work to strengthen the weaker ones, and, sometimes, we have to choose not to use our stronger traits. Besides, are weaknesses really weaknesses? Couldn’t they be viewed as opportunities to grow and to meet and work with people who are stronger in those areas?

  46. @HowieSPM@EricaAllison ‘Cuz Gumby is one efficient bendable toy!

  47. aspinchick says:

    Love this @ginidietrich! Women are not as good at self-promoting. That is my biggest weakness. I can promote others much better than I can promote myself. You’ve inspired me to try harder (though that’s not what the post was about).

  48. Erin F. says:

    I encountered some of this mentality on LinkedIn a week or so ago. I happened to answer some question about entrepreneurship, and the woman who asked it replied to me saying that I was the only female to answer it. She then went on to say how women struggle to self-promote. That may be true for some women, but it’s silly to think that all women are that way. Those of us who do struggle to self-promote (ahem, me) have to work harder at it, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t remember who said this statement to me, but I still remember the words: “If you aren’t growing, you’re dying.” It’s a true statement, regardless of gender. We’re supposed to grow. We’re also supposed to recognize our so-called weaknesses. I only say “so-called” because I think weaknesses can be opportunities for growth as well as for a reality check. They teach us – at least, they teach me – that we’re not perfect. We don’t have everything together one hundred percent of the time, and we need other people in our lives to come alongside us and to help us when we’re “weak.”

  49. Erin F. says:

    I encountered some of this mentality on LinkedIn a week or so ago. I happened to answer some question about entrepreneurship, and the woman who asked it replied to me saying that I was the only female to answer it. She then went on to say how women struggle to self-promote. That may be true for some women, but it’s silly to think that all women are that way. Those of us who do struggle to self-promote (ahem, me) have to work harder at it, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t remember who said this statement to me, but I still remember the words: “If you aren’t growing, you’re dying.” It’s a true statement, regardless of gender. We’re supposed to grow. We’re also supposed to recognize our so-called weaknesses. I only say “so-called” because I think weaknesses can be opportunities for growth as well as for a reality check. They teach us – at least, they teach me – that we’re not perfect. We don’t have everything together one hundred percent of the time, and we need other people in our lives to come alongside us and to help us when we’re “weak.”

  50. Erin F. says:

    …and I totally had my own little rant there. Oops! 🙂

  51. rustyspeidel says:

    I have had some great bosses male and female, and some awful bosses, male and female. I’ve worked with women who have left to raise a family, others who have aschewed that path to focus on their careers, etc. etc. etc. I’ve worked with men who quit to chase the music business or farming, others who were so driven it was disturbing. I have worked in some environments that were very successful but were NOT going to be good for a female, and I’ve seen some where the lone male is completely out of his element.

    No matter. I think it comes down to consistency, COMPETENCE, and the ability to get along, regardless of gender. No one wants to work with someone that makes the job harder, whatever form that takes. We must all try and build teams that have productive professional chemistry. I agree that being yourself, being a team player, sticking to what made you a good hire in the first place, and delivering a quality result are far more important considerations than what gender straw you drew. If you’re doing the hiring, make sure your new team member can make a positive contribution to the culture and productivity of your existing team.

    Agree/disagree?

  52. ginidietrich says:

    @KnealeMann Except it’s 2011. 🙂 I agree that, no matter your gender, self-promoters ARE annoying. We call those people type OO here – Output Only.

  53. ginidietrich says:

    @SoloBizCoach I agree that any leader needs to be confident and assertive. They also need to be able to have fierce conversations. But that doesn’t dictate between a man and a woman. I am both confident and assertive and, as much as I hate them, I am pretty good at the fierce conversations. But I don’t act like a man…nor do I look like one.

  54. ginidietrich says:

    @KenMueller Amen. You can have good bosses and bad bosses. Their gender doesn’t distinguish.

  55. ginidietrich says:

    @Ameena Falchetto You and I are in complete agreement on that! When I’ve vocalized that women should use their assets, I’ve been told I can say that because I’m pretty. Which goes to say I get what I want because I’m pretty and not necessarily smart. That irks me. Women should play to their strengths, just like men should play to theirs.

  56. ginidietrich says:

    @Ameena Falchetto You and I are in complete agreement on that! When I’ve vocalized that women should use their assets, I’ve been told I can say that because I’m pretty. Which goes to say I get what I want because I’m pretty and not necessarily smart. That irks me. Women should play to their strengths, just like men should play to theirs.

  57. ginidietrich says:

    @John Falchetto@Shonali For Wine I Will! LOL!!

  58. ginidietrich says:

    @John Falchetto@Shonali For Wine I Will! LOL!!

  59. ginidietrich says:

    @Shonali Exactly!

  60. ginidietrich says:

    @Shonali Exactly!

  61. ginidietrich says:

    @John Falchetto I wish I’d co-written this with you because THAT would have made an excellent argument.

  62. ginidietrich says:

    @John Falchetto I wish I’d co-written this with you because THAT would have made an excellent argument.

  63. ginidietrich says:

    @fitzternet You can say douchbag here. In fact, we encourage it!

  64. ginidietrich says:

    @NancyD68 And this is part of the reason I work for myself. If I had that experience, I’d tell the men where to stick it. And then I’d get fired.

  65. NancyD68 says:

    @ginidietrich Years ago, I worked for a car dealership. Several of us women were being harassed. Complaining to management did nothing. So, we took matters into our own hands.

    One of the girls in the office had a friend who worked at a law firm, so we typed up phony sexual harassment lawsuit papers. I got one of the outside delivery men to “serve” this jerk with papers. He went WHITE!

    When I did lose my job over that, no one from there contested my unemployment benefits. I wonder why…

  66. fitzternet says:

    @ginidietrich Haha. Well, you didn’t say “bitch,” so I thought I was following the rules or something.

  67. fitzternet says:

    @Erin F. Exactly. Well said.

  68. ginidietrich says:

    @HowieSPM I’ve seen the female baby thing multiple times myself. I’d say 40 percent of the time the woman does not come back to work. That’s certainly now “they all say they’re coming back and then don’t.” It’s a gross generalization. In fact, just a year ago, I was in a meeting with a new business prospect and he asked me if I was planning to have kids. When I pushed him, he admitted he didn’t want to work with a firm where their CEO hadn’t yet had kids. I admitted we don’t do work with jerks like him.

  69. ginidietrich says:

    @lisarobbinyoung Did you happen to see the Sheryl Sandberg commencement speech when she talked about this very thing? She talked about how we tend to think “I won’t gun for that promotion because I’m going to get married someday.” And then, after we get married, we think, “I’m not going to push as hard for what I deserve because I’m going to have a baby someday.”

    So why not put the full gas on, go after what we want, and make life/business choices IF we get married and it’s required or IF we have babies and it’s necessary?

  70. KenMueller says:

    @ginidietrich i was at a leadership summit last week and got to hear Len Schlesinger of Babson College (an entrepreneurial business school) speak, as well as Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, and some others. Several of them pointed out that there is no one singular management style that is an indicator of success, however they all pointed out the importance of good communication and solid relationships and trust. Sounded a lot like social media to me…

  71. hackmanj says:

    Gini – my wife and I were laughing about the creation of Charles Arment over breakfast this morning. We’re both proud of your pre-emptive approach to this cultural problem.

    I definitely think women should be themselves and the idea that they should be more like men is a bad idea.

    Here is an interesting tidbit to add to the mix. In international service circles educating women in the developing world is rising quickly on the priorities list. We definitely don’t want them acting more like the men there, either. Here are two very compelling reasons why (and why women should continue to be themselves!):

    1. Women pay micro loans back at a much higher rate than men.

    2. Women who get educated stay in their communities (men leave at a much higher rate).

    So ladies, please, be yourselves….

  72. michaelwhite1 says:

    Of course both genders are going to be very different. Yet I believe it is more than that. I met some very male women and some very female men. Like many have commented here both men and women have strengths and weaknesses (we are all humans). We could all find ways in which we should change our behavour. I think looking at gender is almost beside the point.

  73. Ameena Falchetto says:

    @HowieSPM Fair point … talk about opening up a minefield. What I was trying to say (and failed) was that we should act in whatever way we feel is appropriate and changing in order to become what we are not in order to succeed is wrong.

  74. DonovanGroupInc says:

    I personally enjoy when Charles Arment’s “partner” gets riled up over an issue. 🙂 Opinions vary but I think that if you can deliver on what you promise in business it doesn’t matter what chromosomes are part of your make up. Here’s to being measured by the strength of your professional character vs the gender attached to your skin.

  75. Ameena Falchetto says:

    @ginidietrich That makes me furious. It’s really insulting – so, you can’t be attractive AND successful?

  76. KDillabough says:

    Back when I was in my twenties, I was the youngest president of a national sport governing body in the sport I coached. Most of the other presidents were men over the age of 60. I certainly knew what the glass ceiling was because my head got sore from bumping up against it on a daily basis.

    Some things I learned:

    People don’t change, but their attitudes can. If I could change an attitude about this being only an “old boys club, and what’s this young whippersnapper…female to boot”, then I did. If I couldn’t, I accepted it for the dinosaur mentality that it was. I didn’t fight it: I killed it with kindness, smarts, savvy and balls. (well, figurative balls)

    I learned that it’s “their” problem, not mine. My mantra: you can dislike, diss or try to dismiss me, but I’m going to make it dam hard for you to do so. Think I’m not in your league? Think again.

    I learned that it’s painful, unfair, frustrating, annoying, unjust and downright rude when men put women down…label them as bitches (thank you)…or undermine or undervalue. I don’t have thick skin, but I developed broad shoulders. Still hurts: still unfair…but my theory is, “sucks to be you” when men are so myopic, misguided and wrong.

    I could go on and on with the lessons I learned, that serve me well to this day. “That which does not defeat us, makes us stronger.” Thanks Gini, for this post: it makes me actually value the lessons that were taught by the very thing I detest: judgement, sexism or, as @John Falchetto aptly pointed out…and ‘isms that divide people. That is all. Cheers! Kaarina

  77. EugeneFarber says:

    @John Falchetto Personalities should not be divided by gender, race or religion. But men and women ARE different. That’s why we have two different words to describe them :).

    That doesn’t mean that anyone should be discriminated against based on these differences. Differences should be celebrated – especially in the work place. Brings a whole slew of new ideas to the table.

    It doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but there is discrimination from all sides. My last boss was a woman who hired ALL women. When the company was interviewing to fill the position of her superior, she campaigned against the man in favor of the woman (even though the man was clearly what the company needed based on his experience and management style).

    I think discrimination in that direction doesn’t get mentioned very often because white men are always seen as the oppressor. And yes, those certainly do exist. But oppressors come in sizes, colors, genders and religions.

  78. EugeneFarber says:

    @John Falchetto Personalities should not be divided by gender, race or religion. But men and women ARE different. That’s why we have two different words to describe them :).

    That doesn’t mean that anyone should be discriminated against based on these differences. Differences should be celebrated – especially in the work place. Brings a whole slew of new ideas to the table.

    It doesn’t get mentioned a lot, but there is discrimination from all sides. My last boss was a woman who hired ALL women. When the company was interviewing to fill the position of her superior, she campaigned against the man in favor of the woman (even though the man was clearly what the company needed based on his experience and management style).

    I think discrimination in that direction doesn’t get mentioned very often because white men are always seen as the oppressor. And yes, those certainly do exist. But oppressors come in sizes, colors, genders and religions.

  79. girlygrizzly says:

    @ginidietrich Boy! You set my day off on the right foot to get stuff done. Thanks for this, and by the way, thank you for introducing me to Claudia. What an extraordinary woman! Thanks for this, I needed a pinch to write what had been going through my mind and after reading your post this morning, it just all poured out! (I’ll send you a link when it is up!) Have a great week and keep everyone on their toes while I’m away. (Sheesh, I’m going to miss you all!) ~Amber-Lee

  80. lisarobbinyoung says:

    @ginidietrich Oh, I’m not saying we shouldn’t go full out (I know I am). We most definitely should. What I’m saying is that some women have no desire to be the CEO or the multi-gagillionaire. I’ve only met a couple of guys that didn’t want the big brass ring – I married one, and the other’s a priest. 🙂

  81. girlygrizzly says:

    @KDillabough Kaarina! Sheesh- I LOVE your entire comment. Just had to say it…well, I did, in my way (in the post I just wrote!) but wow! Yeah, you said it!! Big smiles and hugs. I’ll miss you and your words. ~Amber-Lee

  82. girlygrizzly says:

    @NancyD68@ginidietrich (LMAO) You go girls!

  83. TheJackB says:

    The worst boss I ever worked for was a woman. She fit the stereotypes in so many different ways, mean, bitchy, back stabbing and just plain nasty.

    But she was like that because she believed that the only way women could get ahead was to try and act like men. The net result for her was a constant shuffle of people in and out of that office.

    Her behavior was unnecessary.

    But I never took her for being the “model” supervisor or representative of all women. I had a lot of very good female managers too. Her biggest problem was her desire to prove that she could do it like a man. She would have been much more successful to prove that she could do it as herself.

  84. Erin F. says:

    @EugeneFarber@John Falchetto That’s a good point. I agree – oppressors come in all sizes, genders, colors, and religions. I still remember my first “real” job and encountering prejudice/discrimination because I was white.

  85. Erin F. says:

    @TheJackB Maybe that’s the problem. We think we have to be like so-and-so, but the truth is that we need to be ourselves.

  86. Erin F. says:

    @TheJackB Maybe that’s the problem. We think we have to be like so-and-so, but the truth is that we need to be ourselves.

  87. girlygrizzly says:

    @ginidietrich – I guess I should have read the comments first! I read your post in my email and came over here when I was finished with the post that had been niggling my brain for so long! Good grief! I haven’t laughed this hard in so long! Thank you Gini. Thank you all for letting be part of this absolutely fantastic world here. That’s all, just thanks. ~Amber-Lee

  88. @EugeneFarber Yep they are different physically and you can generalize about their physical attributes. But to give certain qualities to men and not women, is absolutely bullshit. Of course it’s just as bad when you do the reverse.

    It just happens a lot more against women and other minorities because the people who run America are white, male and not disabled.

  89. TheJackB says:

    @Erin F. It is a lot easier to be ourselves than to try to be someone else. I know that sounds ridiculously obvious, but people like my old boss need to hear that.

  90. Erin F. says:

    @TheJackB There are a lot of things that seem obvious but still warrant reminders. 🙂

  91. ginidietrich says:

    @lisarobbinyoung Really great point – and LOL! I do want to be a multi-gagillinaire. I’m not sure how I’ll count that much money. Will you help?

  92. ginidietrich says:

    @lisarobbinyoung Really great point – and LOL! I do want to be a multi-gagillinaire. I’m not sure how I’ll count that much money. Will you help?

  93. DoTime_WX says:

    @TheJackB It’s too bad JackB, but what a good point. There are bosses, both male & female, that feel the need to “bully” by using their authority position. Nasty, bitchy, mean, etc. doesn’t translate to good leadership practice.

    Like your former “worst boss”, I had a female boss once who also felt the need to act in nasty ways. She too had an incredibly huge employee turnover. To make matters worse, she lost some of the best talent the company had.

  94. DoTime_WX says:

    @TheJackB It’s too bad JackB, but what a good point. There are bosses, both male & female, that feel the need to “bully” by using their authority position. Nasty, bitchy, mean, etc. doesn’t translate to good leadership practice.

    Like your former “worst boss”, I had a female boss once who also felt the need to act in nasty ways. She too had an incredibly huge employee turnover. To make matters worse, she lost some of the best talent the company had.

  95. KevinVandever says:

    I’m with you, Gini. Please don’t learn to behave like men. Understand men? Sure. Good luck. Be able to think what a man might be thinking during a given situation? Scary, but OK, have at it. Learn to become more like men? No thanks. We have enough already. I believe the differences between men and women could be used to advantage in all sorts of personal, business and political matters if we (maybe men more than women) would let them.

    Reminds me of a Robin Williams quote, “If women ran the world, there would be no wars just intense negotiations every 28 days.”

  96. DoTime_WX says:

    I left out another talented female with incredible talent & self confidence (and surprisingly not a B word) Melissa Paradice. Perhaps in another’s view, Ms. Paradice and the other ladies could be viewed negatively, but to me they seem strong-willed and intelligent.

    Although they all seem to have one particular trait in common: great communication skills!

  97. ginidietrich says:

    @DoTime_WX “We should let everyone’s track record speak for itself.” Amen! And thank you for the nice compliment, too. I wonder if you’re right in that great communication skills is what allows us not to be seen as the B word?

  98. ginidietrich says:

    @Hajra Yeah! Why don’t men have to wax their legs?! So unfair!

    I’d even go so far as to extend your last paragraph and say treat people the way they deserve to be treated.

  99. lisarobbinyoung says:

    @ginidietrich Sure… for a small fee. 🙂

  100. ginidietrich says:

    @lisarobbinyoung I would think you could have something like a trillion of a multi-gagillion.

  101. ginidietrich says:

    @lisarobbinyoung I would think you could have something like a trillion of a multi-gagillion.

  102. ginidietrich says:

    @EricaAllison Fortunately most men thought Charles Arment was funny and brilliant. So it did more good than harm. It’s not like me to do something like that, but I was REALLY angry. I was tired of sitting in meetings and being asked when they would get to meet my husband. My husband, whom I adore, but knows NOTHING about PR and marketing. So I took care of the problem. The right thing to do? Maybe not for everyone. It worked for me.

  103. ginidietrich says:

    @EricaAllison Fortunately most men thought Charles Arment was funny and brilliant. So it did more good than harm. It’s not like me to do something like that, but I was REALLY angry. I was tired of sitting in meetings and being asked when they would get to meet my husband. My husband, whom I adore, but knows NOTHING about PR and marketing. So I took care of the problem. The right thing to do? Maybe not for everyone. It worked for me.

  104. ginidietrich says:

    @Sean McGinnis You totally send me stuff JUST to get under my skin. And I let you. Sigh…

  105. ginidietrich says:

    @Sean McGinnis You totally send me stuff JUST to get under my skin. And I let you. Sigh…

  106. ginidietrich says:

    @aspinchick I’ve always said I’m in PR because I’d rather promote other people.

  107. ginidietrich says:

    @aspinchick I’ve always said I’m in PR because I’d rather promote other people.

  108. ginidietrich says:

    @Erin F. I agree with you on weaknesses. My weaknesses are that I’m stubborn, a perfectionist, and highly competitive. Said another way they’re strengths. But I do have to tone down the competitiveness in the office. Big time.

  109. TracyPanko says:

    Always wise in an entertaining way you are. While I share the experiences of the other women business leaders, I too have learned to focus my energy on celebrating the differences between the genders and hope to continue to get better at using my “woman powers” in creative ways.

    Idk if any of the other women readers have this same experience but I have definitely noticed a tangible difference and relief of the stereotypical behavior between men and women in the Gen Y and Millennials.

  110. @ginidietrich That’s because I’m bigger than you…. LOL

  111. ginidietrich says:

    @TracyPanko Interesting Tracy…I’m going to pay attention to the young professionals and see if I notice a difference. I’ll report back over a glass of wine soon!

  112. ginidietrich says:

    @KevinVandever Speaking of negotiations, WTH with your lights?

  113. ginidietrich says:

    @TheJackB The worst boss I ever worked for was a woman, too. When they transferred me to her profit center to work, the GM of our office told me that if I couldn’t work with her, no one could. I couldn’t work with her. She behaved the same way as your worst boss.

  114. ginidietrich says:

    @girlygrizzly I’m so happy to read this! Glad you got your day started right…now go save some polar bears.

  115. ginidietrich says:

    @KDillabough I’m with amber-lee dibble . What a great comment!

  116. ginidietrich says:

    @KDillabough I’m with amber-lee dibble . What a great comment!

  117. ginidietrich says:

    @DonovanGroupInc Amen. Now…did the trips ever get out of the boat?

  118. ginidietrich says:

    @DonovanGroupInc Amen. Now…did the trips ever get out of the boat?

  119. ginidietrich says:

    @michaelwhite1 Totally agree. Let us, as people, work to our strengths.

  120. ginidietrich says:

    @hackmanj These are two VERY interesting points. Except #2 if you’re me… I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of dodge! Did you also see that women are being killed in other countries, in order to be rid of those who are talking about getting the same equality Americans have? So 1) it could be worse and 2) they’re going to be extinct without women…unless they’ve figured out how men can have babies.

  121. ginidietrich says:

    @rustyspeidel OH we are in fierce agreement. I read this three times to find something to disagree with you on, but I found nothing.

  122. ginidietrich says:

    @Sean McGinnis That’s true. You are bigger than me. But I’m faster!

  123. rustyspeidel says:

    @ginidietrich Well, i appreciate your giving it your best shot! I’m sure we’ll find a topic to spar over soon enough. 😉

  124. rustyspeidel says:

    @ginidietrich Well, i appreciate your giving it your best shot! I’m sure we’ll find a topic to spar over soon enough. 😉

  125. Erin F. says:

    @ginidietrich We have the same strengths/weaknesses! Maybe that’s why we were supposed to meet. 🙂

  126. Erin F. says:

    @ginidietrich We have the same strengths/weaknesses! Maybe that’s why we were supposed to meet. 🙂

  127. hackmanj says:

    @ginidietrich we are very lucky that these brave women choose to stay and make a difference. We can do a lot to support them of course but an education is a good start.

  128. hackmanj says:

    @ginidietrich we are very lucky that these brave women choose to stay and make a difference. We can do a lot to support them of course but an education is a good start.

  129. hackmanj says:

    @ginidietrich we are very lucky that these brave women choose to stay and make a difference. We can do a lot to support them of course but an education is a good start.

  130. EricaAllison says:

    I’m glad it worked for you! Didn’t mean to imply it didn’t; I just hate you had to do it to begin with! Down here in the South, they don’t ask where my husband is, they think it outside the meeting and ask other people. I’m sure if I got asked that question more often, I might also invent someone of the male persuasion to ‘partner up’ with. @ginidietrich

  131. KDillabough says:

    @ginidietrichamber-lee dibble Thanks Gini:) I’m finding it a bit of a challenge to stay connected with all the people I care about (ahem…you and your great community here) as I shift gears a bit in my business, both online and off. Though I might not appear as often in comments, I’m not going anywhere…just adjusting the sails and charting a bit of a new course. Hopefully you won’t vote me off the island or cross my off your Christmas card list (and yes, I said Christmas..not Season’s Greetings card list:)

  132. KDillabough says:

    @ginidietrichamber-lee dibble Thanks Gini:) I’m finding it a bit of a challenge to stay connected with all the people I care about (ahem…you and your great community here) as I shift gears a bit in my business, both online and off. Though I might not appear as often in comments, I’m not going anywhere…just adjusting the sails and charting a bit of a new course. Hopefully you won’t vote me off the island or cross my off your Christmas card list (and yes, I said Christmas..not Season’s Greetings card list:)

  133. ginidietrich says:

    @KDillabough To heck with the Christmas card list! We still need Skype and wine. Right after Labor Day!

  134. KevinVandever says:

    @ginidietrich I’m asking all men and women to put aside their differences and take a united stand to fight for a man’s, or woman’s, right to have really cool looking patio lights on his, or her, balcony.

  135. KevinVandever says:

    @ginidietrich I’m asking all men and women to put aside their differences and take a united stand to fight for a man’s, or woman’s, right to have really cool looking patio lights on his, or her, balcony.

  136. ginidietrich says:

    @KevinVandever I will sign that petition!

  137. ginidietrich says:

    @KevinVandever I will sign that petition!

  138. Great post Gini. It’s a darn shame that when women are assertive we get called that nice name for dogs. It especially irritates me when I see it in American politics. And business is no better. (And I had no idea that you had invented a male partner. What a hoot.)

    We need to keep calling attention to it, and defining our own path as women if we hope to effect change. You are one of those that is making it happen on a daily basis. Thanks.

  139. rustyspeidel says:

    @ginidietrich@TracyPanko this would not surprise me at all.

  140. KDillabough says:

    @ginidietrich I’m waiting with bated breath and counting the days!

  141. Lisa Gerber says:

    Has anyone read Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex recently? I read it in college and have been meaning to pick it back up for some time now. This might just be the straw that does that.

    She discusses how different the world would be if there were more female leaders of state. More peaceful.

    Must go back, read, and report back.

  142. JenKaneCo says:

    Since I’ve always been a fan of Clay’s, I’m going to take the approach that his post was a brilliant illustration of his point. Clearly the title and topic is designed to set people off, and, as a consequence, fuel traffic to his blog and increase his own popularity. True, I would not have thought to write a post of my own, in hopes of increasing my own popularity, dictating exactly where Mr. Skirky could stick his rant. But I think this is less a fault of my own lack of self confidence than it is my utter lack of interest in what the hell this dude thinks of women.

  143. DoTime_WX says:

    @ginidietrich There are probably some who will always view women in power as “The B!*ch”. Through my experiences, the females who excel in communication skills (males too) are viewed less negatively. Unfortunately, a double standard exists and all the communication skills won’t change the opinion of a biased mind.

  144. Columbiarose says:

    Model the change you want to see. Promote the talents of others. Be the mentor you wish you’d found. Keep a look out for people who could be helped by your support. Model and reward gracious assertiveness. Notice and thank the people who support others. Notice exclusion and do something about it. Notice and praise a woman who asserts herself productively. Reward people who speak up and say what was hard to say but needed saying. Acknowledge men who support women. Acknowledge the women who gave you a hand up.

  145. Tinu says:

    In college, I tried to write about this same topic without sounding like I thought any characteristic of humanity was excluded from the other gender by virtue of gender. People almost always take it the wrong way. My opinion on the reason is that the traditional roles of men and women have become devalued often, as often by your own gender as the other. It goes all the way back to the worldview of being identified by our juxtaposition in regards to the other, an almost subconscious impulse embedded in the dominant culture. Thanks Plato.Other than that, Gini, I have nothing to add but applause.

  146. DoTime_WX says:

    @Columbiarose Love your thoughts Columbiarose

  147. ginidietrich says:

    @DoTime_WX Well, when we rule the world, it’ll change. Which country would you like?

  148. ginidietrich says:

    @DoTime_WX Well, when we rule the world, it’ll change. Which country would you like?

  149. ginidietrich says:

    @JenFongSpeaks I love seeing you here! Hi! It’s certainly better some days than others, but we’ll keep fighting the good fight!

  150. ginidietrich says:

    @Lisa Gerber I haven’t read it, but Sandberg talked a bit about that in the commencement speech we watched. It certainly would be a different world. Read it and report back!

  151. ginidietrich says:

    @JenKaneCo I’m a big, big fan of Skirky’s. And I was super pissed reading his blog post. Imagine being a student of his. I’d think he was a blow hard…and I’d tell him so. I agree that he wrote it to be controversial and, based on the comments and pingbacks, it worked. I’m not that strategic. When something pisses me off, I write about it. I really tried to let it go. I finally was able to when I put words to paper, so to speak.

  152. ginidietrich says:

    @DoTime_WX@Columbiarose Me too!

  153. ginidietrich says:

    @Tinu It’s very true … women are almost worse about other women than men. As a gender, we’re catty, manipulative, and downright mean. The only way we can change the ideals of our gender is to stop behaving that way.

  154. DoTime_WX says:

    @ginidietrich Lol, doesn’t matter on which country. It’s the thought that counts.

  155. JenKaneCo says:

    Being pissed off is good. I’m a big fan of that emotion 🙂 @ginidietrich

  156. barryrsilver says:

    I never wanted to ask about the Arment part of the name. I was a huge fan of Remington Steele when it was on TV. “Mr. Steele functions best in an advisory capacity”. The show also introduced Doris Roberts as a loveable nag/kvetch when the otyher guy in the show got tired of holding Pierce Brosnan’s Burberry. It’s unconscionable that you had to use the same rouse in the 21st Century and indicative of how far we have yet to go. Having only read your review of the Shirky post, I disagree with the premise. To back my opinion I offer some of the very successful women I’ve had the privilege of communing with on Twitter and in the blogs, most of whom do an outstanding job of self-promotion. The difference btwn men and women is that women forgo the end zone dance. By the way, the difference between successful self promoting men and blow hards is that successful self promoting men also forgo the end zone dance.

  157. barryrsilver says:

    I never wanted to ask about the Arment part of the name. I was a huge fan of Remington Steele when it was on TV. “Mr. Steele functions best in an advisory capacity”. The show also introduced Doris Roberts as a loveable nag/kvetch when the otyher guy in the show got tired of holding Pierce Brosnan’s Burberry. It’s unconscionable that you had to use the same rouse in the 21st Century and indicative of how far we have yet to go. Having only read your review of the Shirky post, I disagree with the premise. To back my opinion I offer some of the very successful women I’ve had the privilege of communing with on Twitter and in the blogs, most of whom do an outstanding job of self-promotion. The difference btwn men and women is that women forgo the end zone dance. By the way, the difference between successful self promoting men and blow hards is that successful self promoting men also forgo the end zone dance.

  158. barryrsilver says:

    I never wanted to ask about the Arment part of the name. I was a huge fan of Remington Steele when it was on TV. “Mr. Steele functions best in an advisory capacity”. The show also introduced Doris Roberts as a loveable nag/kvetch when the otyher guy in the show got tired of holding Pierce Brosnan’s Burberry. It’s unconscionable that you had to use the same rouse in the 21st Century and indicative of how far we have yet to go. Having only read your review of the Shirky post, I disagree with the premise. To back my opinion I offer some of the very successful women I’ve had the privilege of communing with on Twitter and in the blogs, most of whom do an outstanding job of self-promotion. The difference btwn men and women is that women forgo the end zone dance. By the way, the difference between successful self promoting men and blow hards is that successful self promoting men also forgo the end zone dance.

  159. ginidietrich says:

    @barryrsilver You should read his post. It was, well, astounding.

  160. ginidietrich says:

    @barryrsilver You should read his post. It was, well, astounding.

  161. Erin F. says:

    @ginidietrich@Tinu That’s very true. I actually sometimes find it easier to work with men for that very reason unless they’re like the men @NancyD68 mentioned earlier. Give me catty women any day over that.

  162. Rieva says:

    @ginidietrich, this argument goes back decades. And it was crap then & it’s crap now. (Sorry for the language.) Way back in the 1990s I was at a Women in Biz conference held at Northwestern. This was in the early days of the “entrepreneurial revolution, but women had already ramped up their startup rate and were launching businesses at 2 to 4 times the general startup rate.

    I was on a panel with a new editor from Inc. who told the audience she checked with her new bosses (more senior editors) and that the reason Inc. magazine didn’t cover women all that much was because they “didn’t seek the spotlight” “they didn’t promote themselves” etc. I promptly threw away my prepared remarks to say, essentially–that’s a crock. I couldn’t understand why Inc. didn’t get pitches from women-owned businesses, while we, at Entrepreneur get plenty. Maybe I wondered, it was because I was a female editor, and Inc.’s staff was dominated by men. I got a spontaneous standing ovation.

    It makes me sad that about 2 decades later we’re hearing the same old excuses. It’s not the women business owner’s fault for relative lack of coverage. I think most are savvy enough business owners to play the PR and marketing game.

    But today it’s more sexy to talk about social media gurus, superstars or whatever moniker they’embracing or pretending to eschew, or hot tech startups. Those fields are dominated by men. Believe me there are plenty of successful women in business, trying to get more attention if only more media people would pay them some notice.

    Sorry for the rant–I am so sick of fighting the exact same battles.

  163. Rieva says:

    @Columbiarose Exactly. We can’t expect the world to change without us helping chage it.

  164. Rieva says:

    @Columbiarose Exactly. We can’t expect the world to change without us helping chage it.

  165. Rieva says:

    And I have to add a quote from Tina Fey: “Bitch is the new black.” (speaking in fashion terms of course)

  166. Fascinating piece, Gini! As is the whole deal with Charles Arment.

    I have to agree about women being bad self-promoters. Something we’re taught somewhere along the line makes woman be modest. I don’t remember actually being taught that, but girls are picking it up somewhere in their youth!

    As for letting women be women, I’m kind of torn on that. Frankly, some of the most challenging (yes, that’s a diplomatic word choice) bosses I’ve had have been women. Women are sometimes the biggest enemies of other women. Catty, petty, insecure.

    Frankly, I don’t think women should act like women or be more like men. As a whole, I think the human species should act more like dogs. The world would be a better place is we embraced our inner canine ^..^

  167. Fascinating piece, Gini! As is the whole deal with Charles Arment.

    I have to agree about women being bad self-promoters. Something we’re taught somewhere along the line makes woman be modest. I don’t remember actually being taught that, but girls are picking it up somewhere in their youth!

    As for letting women be women, I’m kind of torn on that. Frankly, some of the most challenging (yes, that’s a diplomatic word choice) bosses I’ve had have been women. Women are sometimes the biggest enemies of other women. Catty, petty, insecure.

    Frankly, I don’t think women should act like women or be more like men. As a whole, I think the human species should act more like dogs. The world would be a better place is we embraced our inner canine ^..^

  168. Erin F. says:

    @barryrsilver I know I’m probably too young for Remington Steele, but I remember watching the reruns when I was a kid. Remington Steele was my hero for a while. 🙂

  169. Erin F. says:

    @barryrsilver I know I’m probably too young for Remington Steele, but I remember watching the reruns when I was a kid. Remington Steele was my hero for a while. 🙂

  170. Erin F. says:

    @Rieva Personally, I enjoyed reading your rant. I thought it was interesting.

  171. angelica7641 says:

    @ginidietrich @TheJackB I’ve had a few bad bosses and both of them were women trying to act the way he says women should act to “make” it. Regardless if you are a man or woman, trying to be assertive for the sake of being assertive just makes you someone that noone wants to work with and just an asshole. Terrible to know your professor is that judgmental with students who are impressionable and learning…it won’t ever get better that way.

  172. bdorman264 says:

    You know you have arrived when the president of lanierupshaw is mentioning this post in a meeting…..just sayin’………….

  173. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. Thanks Erin. I am just so frustrated

  174. Erin F. says:

    @Rieva I wish there were some way I could alleviate the frustration. Maybe I’ll dream of an ingenious idea/plot tonight…

  175. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  176. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  177. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  178. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  179. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  180. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  181. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  182. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  183. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  184. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I anxiously await your solution. I think the answer is generational, but I’m been thinking that awhile.

  185. Erin F. says:

    @Rieva That could be true. I’m an entrepreneur, so my boss is me, and she’s a horrible taskmaster at times. I’m thinking of networking events I’ve attended and how I’ve been received. I don’t think I’m taken as seriously by the men of the older generation. The men of the younger generation – mine, I suppose – is more willing to listen to me and to evaluate if I’m the real deal or just saying the right words.

  186. Erin F. says:

    @ginidietrich@TracyPanko@Rieva Rieva was saying the same thing in another comment. I’m now contemplating the interactions I’ve had with the different generations and trying to determine if there are differences. There may be, but it may be hard to identify them. I sometimes encounter the “machismo” attitude here along on the border.

  187. MSchechter says:

    Hilarious! I’ve been meaning to ask you for the longest time who Arment was 🙂 I’ve always been very fortunate to watch my mother who as far as females in jewelry go was a bit of a pioneer. One of the first women to graduate from GIA (gemology school) and worked her way up relentlessly with no family ties to the industry. Her secret. Never letting “being a woman” get in her way… actually never letting anything get in her way… She just came in, did her thing and let people have their own hang ups. She knew what she wanted to do, knew what it would take to do it and wan’t going to let anyone put a glass ceiling over her head. She never let circumstance (in this case, her gender) get in her way.

    I may be alone here, but it often feels like it is our own hangups rather than the actual issues themselves that end up holding us back…

    Now I need to go and remember the name of that Whoopi Goldberg movie where she pulled the same schtick…

  188. Rieva says:

    @Erin F. I am hopeful that’s the answer. I think younger (Millennial men) are more aware and just less sexist.

  189. Rieva says:

    @MSchechter People’s hangups may be part of it. But the actual issues are, well actual. They’re real and all too common.

  190. Erin F. says:

    @MSchechter I think that your mother and my mother would be wonderful friends. They seem to have the same attitude toward life.

  191. MSchechter says:

    @Rieva I’m not denying that there are pieces of crap in this world and I may very well be skewed by working in an industry that has a nice balance of both men and women in power. But I will argue that we are often a big part of what potentially holds us back in life.

  192. MSchechter says:

    @Erin F. You’ve gotta love the gutsy!

  193. faybiz says:

    G – seriously, the book, when?

    what the what as my kids got me saying…

    the presumptions are rampant here. you keep it simple, everyone can do something better.

    apparently shirky hasn’t met some women i’ve met- they are remarkable liars and self-promoters.

    ugh… doofus…

  194. faybiz says:

    G – seriously, the book, when?

    what the what as my kids got me saying…

    the presumptions are rampant here. you keep it simple, everyone can do something better.

    apparently shirky hasn’t met some women i’ve met- they are remarkable liars and self-promoters.

    ugh… doofus…

  195. ElissaFreeman says:

    @Lisa Gerber Ah ha! We’re on the same wavelength. As soon as I read Gini’s post I thought of the de Beauvoir’s quote: “One is not born a woman, but becomes one.” Which means what? We are who we are in business because someone made us that way? Women are capable of making their own decisions – but when you live in a world where men call (most of) the shots, our interpretation of how we should act, promote etc is likely compromised. Do all women feel this way? No. But you’d be surprised how many still do.

  196. lauraclick says:

    Ok – don’t get me started on this topic! I could write a whole blog post in the comments. This kind of thing burns me up. It all started in my high schol socialogy class when I learned that women make 80 cents to the male dollar. Boo!

    I had NO idea the Arment in your name was fake! I often wondered who the mysterious “Arment” was. I remember when I first discovered you that I looked all over your website and found no mention of “Arment”. I just assumed he/she was a silent partner – guess I was right! I just didn’t realize how silent! Your story reminds me of James Chartrand of Men with Pens. That caused quite a stir when James came out as a woman sometime last year.

    I don’t vilify you or James for coming up with fake identities. I just think it’s sad that it was necessary at all. I certainly give you credit for being creative enough to come up with it. I don’t think I would have had the balls to do that!

    At the end of the day, I think we have do what you suggested – do what women do best and let the chips fall where they may. Trying to be something we’re not will only backfire. Besides, do we really want to work with the people you mentioned in your blog post? I don’t. If they can’t respect me for being a smart woman who’s in charge, then they can go find a man they can chum up with. It will be better for both of us.

  197. DonovanGroupInc says:

    @ginidietrich Yes but begrudgingly. 🙂

  198. tricomb2b says:

    @tricomb2b @ginidietrich Great points in Women and Workplace Equality blog. I think it stems from a lifetime of girls being told to be nice!

  199. tricomb2b says:

    @tricomb2b @ginidietrich Great points in Women and Workplace Equality blog. I think it stems from a lifetime of girls being told to be nice!

  200. ginidietrich says:

    @tricomb2b Ha! I think you’re right.

  201. […] blogs -that I think- lead the charge in terms of design are actually Social Media, blogging and marketing […]

  202. ginidietrich says:

    @lauraclick George Eliot was a woman, too. Fortunately, I didn’t have to use Charles for very long. I really did it as a joke and then discovered it worked. So it stuck.

  203. ginidietrich says:

    @faybiz Shhhh! There will be a book. I promise.

  204. ginidietrich says:

    @MSchechter As well as I know you, I absolutely believe she lets nothing get in her way.

  205. ginidietrich says:

    @bdorman264 I’m sorry. WHAT??!

  206. ginidietrich says:

    @Rieva LMAO!! And here I thought purple was the new black.

  207. ginidietrich says:

    @WordsDoneWrite Have you seen The Help yet? There is a scene in there where the mother tells the main character to cross her legs at the ankle, stop smoking, and not to swear. It’s been burned into us for eternity.

  208. ginidietrich says:

    @Rieva I also enjoyed reading your rant. I actually think it’s bigger than not playing the PR and marketing game. I’m Executive Platinum on American because I travel so much. Do you know how many other women I see, at that same level, on planes? Maybe one a trip. One. When I speak at conferences, I’m usually the only woman. In fact, in the Vistage speaking circuit, women make up less than five percent of their speakers. You know this – you travel the same amount as me (if not more), you speak at conferences, you spend a lot of time with business owners. How many are women?

    I think it has more to do with what Sheryl Sandberg talks about: That we let up off the gas because we “might” get married or we “might” have babies. And we feel guilty going after a promotion because we “might” leave.

    You and I don’t think that way – we’re far too competitive. But I think that’s the reality of our gender.

  209. ginidietrich says:

    @AmyMccTobin How the hell are you too emotional if you don’t cry in meetings or lose your temper? That makes no sense. People suck.

  210. faybiz says:

    @ginidietrich how old will i be? thought you were taking it easy this week?

  211. MSchechter says:

    @ginidietrich She is often described as relentless 🙂

  212. Hajra says:

    @TheJackB@ginidietrich I have had 5 bosses..and the worst one is a male! All females have been super cool! Maybe its a psycho thing among us…we female psychologists make good bosses compared to those in the other sector … just a thought now!

  213. Hajra says:

    @TheJackB@ginidietrich I have had 5 bosses..and the worst one is a male! All females have been super cool! Maybe its a psycho thing among us…we female psychologists make good bosses compared to those in the other sector … just a thought now!

  214. Hajra says:

    @TheJackB@ginidietrich I have had 5 bosses..and the worst one is a male! All females have been super cool! Maybe its a psycho thing among us…we female psychologists make good bosses compared to those in the other sector … just a thought now!

  215. Yogizilla says:

    I love your take-away in the closing, Gini. Each gender does have strengths and weaknesses.. but it’s not just limited to genders or gender roles. Certainly, we are predisposed to certain adversity given cultural barriers, conditioning, and the like, but we have the power to conquer that and play up our strengths. In the end, we can choose to be the CEO of our lives as janet callaway would put it (ever so gracefully, I might add) our play the victim card.

    Now, the interesting thing here is that it’s not just women that get judged. I find that I have friends that hide from me now that they know I am in business for myself. I hid it for years, even when I was just moonlighting.. The thing is that there are paradigm shifts being embraced all around us and others are fighting them hard. Change scares many people.. That’s why “Who Moved My Cheese” became the go-to book for many organizations, especially those “right-sizing” their businesses. It softened up the blows of what most did not want to accept. Truth be told, some sacrifices is needed. Once you stop trying to please everyone and embrace who you are, flaws and all, you’ll be free to focus on other things. As a man (well, at least last I checked), I feel women have some advantages, especially on the social web. Let’s be honest: sometimes people only support you because you have a cute face as an avatar picture.

    I see it all the time.

    Like you, I’ve created false personalities to see what would happen. When I pretended to be a woman in online games and social platforms, people were more supportive and friendly. Suddenly, I wasn’t that icky business person that was trying to sell me something every now and then. LOL

    We’re not the only ones that have done this social experiment.. It’s sad that it comes to that but most are not ready to put their doubts and insecurities aside.. So you have to position things just right or take tons of time to build that trust, or leverage the trust of others…. Ah, that’s where referrals are huge.. but even then people are tuning out sellers. It’s a tough world for us, not just for women, men, or those in between.. The truth is people have been burned and we’re looking for friends. We’re looking to identify ourselves and have a voice amidst all the noise and faceless entities.. Once we can bring back the that warmth and focus on the social aspect of social media, maybe people will be more kind to us, regardless of gender.

    I actually touch upon some of this in my article here:

    http://unbounce.com/seo/the-adaptive-seo-approach

    I feel the call to action is for all of us to work harder to show people that we care. The strong-arm selling tactics of before don’t work for long, if at all. You can exude confidence and passion without being pushy.. Finding that balance is tough, though.

    That’s why we have to make sure we remember people every day, before we realize the potential to help them out with what we have to offer. If we don’t, people will close doors on us, even if our intentions are good.. Regardless of our gender (or charisma). 8)

  216. […] Gini Dietrich wrote about Achieving Workplace Equality that referenced an article  “A Rant About Women” in which the author said that women would go […]

  217. […] received a variety of reactions to Gini Dietrich‘s post on self-promotion.  Here is another perspective from guest blogger Kareem […]

  218. Leon says:

    G’Day Gini,

    Once upon a time, I was Regional Personnel Manager for a National retail chain. We were expanding fastly and furiously and our grammar was going to pot too.

    Against some corporate misgivings in Head Office I appointed the first ever female Store Manager in the company and the first ever female to the corporate Management Trainee Program. These two women won these jobs for one reason. They were very, very good.

    I sometimes think that continuing to “go on” about glass ceilings and similar matters is just a bit old hat. I’m not denying that equal opportunity is not quite as equal as it ought to be. But this applies to lots of groups in the workplace, not just women.

    I’ll get out of the way so I’m not trampled to death by outraged sisters as they surge towards their high horses.

    I’d just like to let you know that I made those two appointments in gorgeous Sydney, Australia………. in 1976.

    The more things change………..even in the Antipodes.

    It’s all part of having fun, I suppose.

    Regards

    Leon

  219. Columbiarose says:

    “We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.” ~ Margaret Atwood

  220. […] This wasn’t easy but I think women have a hard job in the corporate world anywhere in the world. My friend and favorite CEO, Gini Dietrich, recently discussed women and achieving workplace equality. […]

  221. […] in the male-dominated Middle East taught me the importance of being true to myself. Remember, being a woman is not a […]

  222. Faryna says:

    Gini:

    I admire your courage to confess to the charade of Charles Arment. And I celebrate your triumph to put that self-defeating charade to an end. You have done what kings and presidents hesitate to do. You have cut down the sword that hangs over your head. BRAVA!

    My heart goes out to you, Gini. How many times did you stress out thinking a customer might discover the deception and walk away because they couldn’t trust you! Like Damocles’ sword hanging over your hear – I try to imagine your fear, regret and shame as that hung over your hard won successes, accomplishments, and professional accolades. I feel how sadness and shame have run a deep course through your heart.

    Your ambition is fearsome. You make things happen. You play the game and the head games. You seize quickly upon new opportunities. You don’t play by all the rules BUT, in fact, no one who enjoyed even a small but tasty success played by all the rules. You make mistakes in pursuing your dreams, sometimes fighting tooth and nail – as does any man or woman who strongly wants what they want.

    That doesn’t make you a…

    You are human. Heroic. Amazing.

  223. osakasaul says:

    I agree wholeheartedly – women should not actually need to defy their femininity to be unlimited in advancement. And being assertive does not mean you are a B—-.

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