Wednesday, April 11, 2007


One of the newest 2.0 web applications that I has been introduced to me is Zoho Office Suite. Zoho Office Suite is an online application with various functions that can be extremely useful to individuals in all disciplines. Some of the components found within Zoho Office Suite are Zoho Writer , a word processor with collaboration features, Zoho Project, a project management software, and Zoho Show, a presentation tool. The function that interested me the most was Zoho Sheet, which is an “online alternative to traditional spreadsheet applications”. Zoho sheets, allows multiple users to edit, and collaborate on one spreadsheet, at the same time. While each individual adjusts and contributes to their part of the spreadsheet, other individuals will be able to see these changes almost instantly. Another unique feature provided by Zoho Sheet is referred to as "Zoho Chat Integration". Now, users are able to have online conversations with the individuals working on the same spreadsheet project. This feature makes collaboration more effective and efficient. In addition to these benefits, Zoho Sheet just recently added more chart variety, page loading improvements, semi- public spreadsheet, Hyperlinks spreadsheets and Auto-versioning.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ladies in Finance

In an article out of The CPA Journal, titled Executive Women in Finance, author Charles Eldridge addresses many of the struggles executive women in finance face. Many of these struggles are exactly identical to the ones women in marketing, accounting, and management are currently experiencing. Much like women in other business disciplines, studies have found that women in finance have “worked with out significant breaks in their careers; rather than cutting down on work, they have sacrificed time on outside commitments and interests.” Studies have determined that 86% of women in finance have sacrificed their free time on outside hobbies because of their careers. 52% of women’s relationships have also been impacted by their demanding careers. Then there are 16% of women who have decided not to have children in order to achieve ultimate career success. Although women are often times perceived as lacking organizational commitment, I believe these numbers demonstrate that women are very committed to their careers. The question is, why are women perceived as being less committed to begin with? Because women normally take on the demanding roles of mothers and wives, many employers believe that women will put their families first and their careers second. One finance professional stated, “the perception is that because I am a woman, wife and mother, I have different career goals and commitments.” These inaccurate perceptions about business women have proven to be detrimental towards their upward mobility.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Number of Business Women Declining

One of my sources, titled Women Still Scare In Top-Level Jobs, addressed a major issue that is presently occurring in the business world. New studies have shown that the number of women holding top corporate positions has actually been decreasing. According to these studies, “women held 15.6% of corporate officer positions in 2006, which is down from 16.4% in 2005. This information is surprising to me for a couple of reasons. First of all, there has been several publicized appointments of females executives during the past couple of year. For example, Carleton Fiorina became the first female CEO for Hewlett-Packard in 1999. Because of these appointments, I was under the impression that conditions were somewhat improving for women in business. This news is also surprising because it contradicts many of the articles that I’ve read about women in business. Many of my sources have always implied that women are slowly catching up to men. Although these sources identify that it will take many, many more year for women to reach equity in the board room, they have never stated that the number of women is actually declining.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My Position In Action


Most business women are not held back by their lack of commitment, instead factors such as gender bias, stereotyping, double standards, unequal access to exclusive networks and lack of female mentors are all responsible for women’s dismal presence in the business world.

In this paragraph, I am trying to establish how women's commitment is perceived by organizations.....

When looking for potential employees, employers look for individuals who will not only add value to the organization, but who will also remain dedicated to their duties and responsibilities. Although studies have “established that men and women experience similar levels of organizational commitment” (The Effects of Gender), employers still remain hesitate to bring women into their companies. According to, several hiring managers believe that the level of commitment women bring into workplace is simply not enough. One human resource executive for the company WorldWIT Inc states, "There is this huge perception that women are burdened with entanglements outside of work related to children or parents and that they'll bear the brunt of the responsibility so much that they'll neglect their work."(Career Journal). Not only do employees believe women will neglect their work, they also question whether or not “she is going to be able to do what the job requires” (Career Journal.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

My Quick Literature Review

There are 8 Sources I would like to briefly summarize in this literature review. Source #1 comes from the website Feminist Majority. This site does an excellent job at explaining some of the causes of the glass ceiling and also provides readers with myths and facts regarding women in business. Source #2 comes from and is titled “Midlevel Women Execs face Job-Search Hurdles.” The hurdles that are addressed in this article include networking difficulties, limits on the types of jobs women will accept, and gender-based stereotypes and biases. Source #3 comes from The CPA Journal Online and reads, “Executive Women in Finance Overcoming Challenges and Looking Ahead.” Some of the issues found in this journal include, gender biases, work diversity, and finding strong mentors. Source #4 comes from a blog site title Free Democracy and is titled “How Carly Lost Her Gender Groove”. This article was originally printed in the New York Times and was reposted in its entirety on the Free Democracy blog site. In it, readers learn about some of the bumps, potholes, and dead ends that prominent CEO, Carleton Fiorina encountered during her journey to the top. Source #5 is a peer reviewed journal titled “Corporate Initiatives for Advancing Women.” This journal argues that although the women of today are more educated than they were 20 years ago, they are not advancing to the top as quickly as they should be. The journal identifies several barriers that have slowed women’s career advancements. These barriers include things such as lack of access to line positions and exclusion from channels of communication. Source #6 is also a peer reviewed journal titled “The Effects of Gender on Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment in Kuwait”. This study discovered that men and women display the same amount of organizational commitment and job satisfaction. Source #7 came from The Christian Science Monitor website and was titled “The Truth Behind Women Opting out”. This article was responding to an article posted in the New York Times which declared that there was a significant number of women exiting the workforce in order to stay home with their children. In “The Truth Behind Women Opting Out", the author explains that women are not leaving the workforce to tend to their families. On the contrary, women are pursing their careers more than ever because of their families. And finally, source #8 came out of Business Week and is titled “As Managers, Women Rule”. According to this article, studies have found women to be better leaders because they are more compassionate, better listeners and believe in consensus.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Position

Through out the course of my research on corporate women, I have stumbled upon articles implying that women’s lack of commitment is responsible for their slow advancement up the corporate ladder. According to these sources, motherhood creates feelings of complacency amongst women, causing them to no longer pursue their pre-baby careers. Women’s lack of dedication is not the only factor that is said to hinder their chances of obtaining executive positions, some sources believe that women simply do not display the confidence and audacity that is necessary to make it in business. Although some business women may fit this description, not all women possess those unimpressive characteristics. Most importantly, one must understand that these two qualities alone are not responsible for the deficiency of top executive women in our world today. What I want to argue in paper #3 is that most business women are not being held back by their lack of commitment or self-assurance, instead factors such as gender bias, stereotyping, double standards, unequal access to exclusive networks, and lack of female mentors are all responsible for women’s dismal presence in the business world.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Women overlooked In the Sales Industry

In an article titled Corporate Initiatives for Advancing Women, author Mary Mattis discusses the different barriers that women encounter in various industries. Research has found that many women shy away from sales jobs because they believe companies are less likely to hire female candidates. Can women’s perceptions about the sales industry be true? Unfortunately, their perceptions are very true. Studies have found that men are more likely to obtain a sales position than women. Often times, sales managers tend to hire candidates that they connect with and who are similar to them. Since most sales managers tend to be white males, these individuals tend to recruit white males. Women are not only overlooked as potential sales managers because of their race and gender, but also because of misconceptions that are associated with them. Data indicates that recruiting managers believe women cannot handle a job in sales because they are not knowledgeable in products found in the automotive, sports and machinery industry. These managers also avoid hiring women because they feel that a job in sales is “too demanding” for them, and customers tend to feel uneasy when working with females sales representatives. The findings in this article definitely strengthen the notion of the glass ceiling. Women are not able to excel in certain industries because they are not even given a chance. They are unjustly overlooked as candidates because of old fashion prejudices, and until these prejudices are destroyed, women will continue to be pushed into lower level job positions.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My First Contribution to Wiki!

I decided to start my first Wikipedia page on Kathy Seifert, a business women not widely known. Here's what the page has so far. . .

Kathi Seifert was named one of America’s Top Businesswomen by Forbes in 2001. In 1971, she received her bachelor’s degree at Valparaiso University in Indiana. Following her graduation, she worked for Procter & Gamble doing marketing research. She later applied for a position at the paper product company Kimberly Clark. After being rejected from Kimberly Clark, she took on a marketing job with Fort Howard Paper. On March 27, 1978, Kimberly Clark called Seifert and she began her career with company by selling paper goods to motels and other businesses. Two years later, she began marketing consumer products for the company. In 1991, she became the executive vice president for Kimberly Clark, and is one of the highest paid officers in the company. She currently manages the Kimberly Clark's global personal care business.

Source: Forbes Magazine "America's Top Business Women" 3.28.01

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Are More Career Women 'Opting Out'?

Are the business women of today more likely to leave the workforce in order to take on the jobs of house wives or mothers? From 2001 to 2005, there was a noticeable decline of women in the workforce. Back in 2003, New York Times Reporter Lisa Belkin wrote that this decline indicated that an "opt-out revolution" was taking place amongst women. In reality, women were not, and are not, "opting out" of their careers to tend to their families. Studies have found that the women of today, compared to the women in 1984, are less likely to leave their jobs for their loved ones. Actually, women are now more inclined to keep their careers because they must provide for their families needs. So, if women weren't opting out for family reasons, what explains the dwindling number of women in the workforce during 2001- 2005? During that time period, the labor market grew weak, causing women's labor rates, and even men's labor rates, to drop. Although the declining number of women in the workforce can be justified by the occurrence of a recession, I find it interesting that women were automatically viewed as "opting out". Like I mentioned above, men's labor rates also declined during that 4 year period yet nobody declared that an "opt-out revolution" was occurring amongst men. I believe that women are constantly perceived as being less committed to their careers, which is why society is so quick to assume women will drop everything for their families. Because women are believed to lack devotion, companies often times don't view them as valuable assets. One faculty member at a California University believes that "most mothers do not opt out . . . they are pushed out by workplace inflexibility, the lack of supports, and a workplace bias against mothers."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Library Research vs. Virtual Research

After researching the conventional library way and the new virtual way, I have come realize how much more efficient and effective online research really is. With online programs like Diigo and Zotero, researching is now a breeze. Before I was ever introduced to such online applications, I found that my hunt for data was incredibly unorganized. I would attempt to keep track of my information with post- its, index cards, and highlightings. The problem with this research method was that I would forget where my highlightings were, my post-its would unstick, and my index cards would get lost. Not only was this type of research chaotic, it was also quite limiting. For example, depending on the library I went to, I was limited to the information that was found in their books. Often times, I didn't find enough information, or the data that I did come across happened to be outdated and not very useful. This type of research is a thing of the past. Virtual research has revolutionized the way people gather data and has helped me become a better researcher. Programs like Diigo allow me to bookmark, highlight, and even add sticky notes to my online findings. Through Diigo, individuals are able to examine other people's social bookmarks and this feature greatly facilitates the research process. The online program Zotero is probably the most useful application that I have been introduced to so far. In the past, preparing bibliographies was always a drag and a hassle. I was never sure if I was formatting the information properly and always felt like I was leaving something out. With Zotero, a person can obtain a source's bibliographical information in a matter of seconds. Zotero is a convenient, time saving tool that every student should take advantage of.

The only downfall to virtual research is that stored data may sometimes become unavailable due to power outages or online technical difficulties. These situations can be frustrating for a researcher who is depending solely on their online notes and sources to complete an assignment or task. It's times like these when old fashion library research turns out to be more dependable and less exasperating.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Examining Others Social Bookmarks

In hopes of discovering more useful sources relevant to my blog’s focus, I examined other people’s social bookmarks using Diigo. I searched long and hard for individuals with bookmarks regarding women in business. Although I was unable to locate any one particular Diigo user with that genre of articles, I did come across one individual, Bartthebear, who had an array of business related bookmarks. While Bartthebear’s bookmarks didn’t emphasize women’s role in business, I still found them quite informative and possibly useful for future posts. After perusing through this user’s articles, it was apparent that he/she was very interested in starting a home based online business. Many of the saved articles and web pages offered strategies, suggestions, and information on how to effectively run a business from home. Several bookmarks provided “tips” on how to properly market a service to a particular target audience. Other bookmarks were sites offering online education courses that specialized in marketing, leadership and salesmanship. Then there were countless other articles that focused on how to make it in the business world, how to network in the business world, how to identify business opportunities, and how to properly research business ideas.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A "Chatty" Management Style

Commenting on "As Women Move up the Corporate Latter, Will Decision Making Change"

A management style that depends on feedback and consensus sounds like an effective way to get the job done. A male professor of mine, who once worked for a manufacturing company, practiced this style of management. He said he spent very little time in his office, and instead worked on communicating with his workers. He believed that by developing these relationships he was able to obtain quicker and more useful information, which in the end allowed him to do his job much better. Although he claimed he was an effective and efficient manager, employees believed he wasn’t getting any work done. Because he was always talking and walking around, he too was perceived as “too chatty” and nosey. Being that he was a male, I found this quite interesting. Most of the time qualities such as these are attached to women. Apparently, in order to be perceived as working, women (and even men!) must stay cooped up in their offices all day long.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thoughts on Climbing the Corporate Ladder in Heels (Annotation 1)

High Heels To The Top - Annotated

In a 2006 Forbes article, writer Kathleen Archambeau asks her readers the following questions:

“In a time of corporate scandals and bankruptcies, wars and terrorism, isn't it time for a change to the male model of success? Isn't it time women stopped trying to be more like men and started trying to be more like themselves?

I believe the male model of success has been eroding immensely through out history. Although men’s past decisions have proven to be fatal and unwise, our society continues to place them on an untouchable pedestal. Women have felt pressured to walk, talk, and dress like men, and have been led to believe that emulating certain male qualities would inevitably lead to their success. Women should definitely stop being more like men, and attempt to be less like them. I believe women shine the brightest when they are true to their beliefs, their ideas, and their motivations; not when they are attempting to conform to the ideas of male figures.

Archambeau also asks,

Isn't it time women brought their talents to the party?
Some of business women’s greatest talents and qualities are often times overlooked or viewed as weaknesses. Women’s listening and communication skills are said to far exceed those of men. Women have also been noted to be excellent team players and partners. According to one Business Week article,
Women think through decisions better than men, are more collaborative, and seek less personal glory, says the head of IBM's Global Service Div., Douglas Elix, who hired two mangers within this year-- both women. Instead of being motivated by self interest, women are driven by "what they can do for the company"

Archambeau later asks,

Isn't it time to redefine what it means to be successful?

Success has been associated with money, power and prestige. Many believe that in order for a woman obtain these things, they must put off marriage, children and having a life all together. Success can be attained without sacrificing these important things. According to Archambeau,

Women (and often men) need to know how to use the skills gained in their traditional roles to carve out a successful career and a happy life.

A New Double Standard (Annotation 2)

ABC News: Can Sexy Women Climb the Corporate Ladder? Annotated

Through out the course of my research, I’ve become familiar with several of the double standards women face in the work place. Just recently, I learned of a new double standard I had never thought about. This double standard revolves around the manner in which women and men dress. In an ABC News article titled, Can Sexy Women Climb The Corporate Ladder, author Eric Noe argues that provocative clothing may prevent a women from climbing to the top. Noe states,

“If you're a professional woman with designs on occupying the corner office, your fashion sense better be more Hillary Clinton than Pamela Anderson.”

I definitely agree with this statement. I believe women should dress as professionally as possible when going to work. Although tight mini skirts and sexy tops might be an expression of a women’s individuality, it is still not appropriate for the workplace. Aspiring business women are often times viewed as incompetent, simply because they are women. Unfortunately, women are perceived even more negatively when a sexy outfit is added to the equation. Noe writes,

"If you look too sexy, the stereotype is that you're not that bright….And, of course, there is the age-old "bimbo" or "dumb-blond" stereotype that often plagues attractive women…”

Although a woman can dress sexy and still be an amazing business leader, studies have shown that the level of respect she receives gets smaller as her skirts get smaller. When it comes down to receiving respect or making a fashion statement, I think most women would take the respect on any given day.

Finally, allow me to introduce the new stereotype that Noe introduced to me. According to Noe,

“…women must accept a certain double standard when it comes to office attire and stereotypes. Men who dress poorly may be considered sloppy, but that probably won't affect the perception of their competence. For women, people will immediately assume: 'Oh, if she can't put a skirt and a blouse together, then how is she going to handle my finances?'" …"For men, they're more likely to say: 'Well, he's a bad dresser, but he's a whiz with numbers.'"

I never realized how absolutely true this is. Women who have no fashion sense are unquestionably perceived differently than men who have no fashion sense. A man, for example, can wear polk-a-dots and stripes and will still be respected and deemed brilliant. On the other hand, if a woman was to wear horrifically mismatched outfits daily, she would be viewed as frumpy, and incapable of delivering quality work. Her image would be belittled by the other employees in the workplace and her intelligence and abilities would become invisible.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Women Managers Rule!

Myth or Fact? Women are not suited for top management because they aren't aggressive enough and lack the self-confidence required for the top jobs. Many would say this is a myth, and many others would say this is a fact.

Through the years, certain unfavorable qualities and personality traits have been used to describe the female population. For example, women are said to be moody, bitchy, soft, and emotionally unstable. Although women are often times believed to be lacking basic leadership qualities, comprehensive management studies have found women to be more effective leaders than men. In a Business Week article titled As Leaders Women Rule, author Rochell Sharp writes:
By and large, the studies show that women executives, when rated by their peers, underlings, and bosses, score higher than their male counterparts on a wide variety of measures--from producing high-quality work to goal-setting to mentoring employees.
Although these studies were new to me, their findings weren’t at all surprising. Of course women are capable of doing something better than men. Believe it or not, in addition to cooking and cleaning, women can also be effective thinkers, decision makers, organizers, and planners. Why is this so shocking to some? Sharp states that researchers “were startled by the results” and were “stunned by women’s consistently high ratings”.

Sharp also found several employers who proudly proclaimed they would higher a female over a male on any given day. Anu Shukla, the female CEO of a major Internet Marketing company, claims that women employees give her the quality and dedication she is looking for. Brent Clark, the CEO of a foot care company, agrees with Shakula’s hiring biases. He states, “Women are more stable . . . less turf-conscious, and better at all sorts of intangibles that can help an organization.''

Finally! People are beginning to realize that women are not only capable of excelling in our male dominated business world, but are also slowly starting to dominate it.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Are 9 Pointless Pictures Still Worth 9 Thousand Words?

When one thinks of a business magazine, the words respectable and professional may come to mind. When I examine a magazine such as Forbes or Fortune, I expect to find reputable articles accompanied by well thought of images. I’ve come to realize that I wont always find what I expect.

In a Forbes article titled, Don’t Marry a Career Woman, author Micheal Noer goes over several reasons why men should stay away from those no good, unfaithful career women. What are some of these reasons? According to Noer's sources, marrying a career woman would lead to illness, divorce and a childless home. Although the content in this article is, in my opinion, degrading and patronizing, my task was to examine the articles visual appearance, not its substance. In terms of formatting, font color, and layout, this particular article was quite boring and unimpressive. But, it is not the written portion of this article I want to elaborate on. Instead I want to discuss the selection of photographs that accompany this piece. These images may make readers wonder, “Who chose these pictures? Are they really necessary? And do they belong in this type of magazine?”

Apparently, Forbes wanted to ensure that readers TRULY understood Noer’s message. Therefore, 9 photographs were provided in order to clarify the main idea of the article, that being: Marriage + Career Driven Women = Unhappy Husbands

Each image has a theme. For example, image #1 depicts a freshly married couple, enjoying a blissful and passionate embrace. Their future looks promising. They appear to have it all, love, happiness, and great careers.

Image #2 shows a wedding ring and wedding documents which symbolize a couples commitment and never ending lover for one another. They are destined to live happily ever after …or are they?

Image #3 shows what happens when a successful career women grows tired of her husband. According to this picture, “she covers herself in costume jewelry and cheats on him with every greasy- haired hipster in town.”

Image #4 depicts the beautiful baby that will never be. According to Noer’s sources, working women are less likely to have kids. Because career women are so incredibly selfish, husbands everywhere are forced to live their entire lives miserable and childless.

In the 5th image, we see an Asian women crying. This great photograph is intended to depict that misery, sadness, and dissatisfaction a career women would feel if she DID have children.

Image #6, my favorite image of them all, shows a messy, neglected home. Apparently, somebody went a bit overboard with the goldfish snacks, and because the little woman was off at work, the mess was never picked up. Bad, bad career woman.

The 7th image shows a miserable looking man. Why is he so sad? Isn’t it obvious? It’s clearly because his unfaithful wife has been working all week and has failed to pick up the goldfish snacks he spilled all over the living the room floor.

Image #8 shows a very serious looking wife, who is no longer Asian, but Caucasian. You might be wondering where her sad, goldfish-eating husband could be? Obviously, he’s been replaced by a younger, more interesting looking lover.

And finally, image #9 shows the ex husband, who for some reason aged quite rapidly .The question is: Has he contracted the flu, or is he just really sad? It’s hard to tell with this picture.

These photographs are clearly ineffective and by no means enhance the ideas that Noer is trying to explain. Not only are these images random, and silly, but would be impossible to make sense of if no supporting text was provided. Many times, images are helpful in conveying certain messages, in this case, the article alone would have sufficed.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

My Sources (#1)

My sources are what have breathed life into all of my posts. Without them, the content on my blog would be limited to the few things I know about women in business. And since I'm not very knowledgeable in that subject, one can only imagine how unimpressive my blog would look like right now. Thankfully, that isn't the case.

In order to fully understand women's strifes and strides in the male dominated business world, I explored blogs, business articles, and other types of informative websites. Although few of the blogs I found struck me as useful, I did come across two particular blogs that sparked my interest. Mamas, Don’t Let Your Sons Marry Professional Women and We’ve Come a Long Way Baby, focus their attention on a recent Forbes article titled Don’t Marry a Career Women. According to Michael Noer, the author of this article, “Professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat and less likely to have children . . .” The main goal of these blogs is to stick up for career women who, time and time again, have endured harsh criticism simply because they are dedicated to their careers. The writer of Mamas, Don’t Let Your Sons Marry Professional Women breaks down each one of Noer’s arguments in a blunt and quite humorous way. For example, Noer states that marrying a successful woman is "asking for trouble", not only will both spouses end up dissatisfied, but their home will end up looking like a pig sty. In response to this, the feisty female blogger writes:
Look, numb nut, if both spouses are working full time, of course the house is going to be dirtier than if the wife stays at home and dedicates herself to domestic chores. Jesus fuck, am I being too Captain Obvious here? What the author also neglects to mention is how in households in which both spouses work, women often still end up doing the lion's share of the housework.
Not surprisingly, the two blogs mentioned above, turned out to be very female biased, and are mainly geared towards independent, career driven women.

During my search for information, I came across the blog site Free Democracy. This site contains several posts dealing with political and business news, one of which is titled How Carly Lost Her Gender Groove. This piece of work is not a blog, but is actually a repost of an article written for the New York Times. In this article, readers learn about some of the bumps, potholes, and dead ends that prominent CEO, Carleton Fiorina, encountered during her journey to the top.

When it came time to search for non-blog sources, I decided that I would search for three types of information. First, I would look for articles relating to women’s recent successes in business schools and in the business world. Second, I would seek sources that addressed the many struggles, obstacles, myths, and misconceptions that have been associated with women. Finally, I would search for miscellaneous business articles that may or may not be useful to me in the future.

Two articles dealing with women's successes are America’s Top Business Women and As Leaders, Women Rule. America’s Top Business Women came out Forbes magazine and serves to introduce readers to the names, industries, and career histories of some the most prominent female business leaders in the United States. These women include: Judy Lewnt- CFO and Vice President of Merk, Jamie Gorlick- Vice Chairman of Fannie Mae, and Dina Dublon- CFO and Vice President of JP Morgan Chase. The second article, As Leaders, Women Rule, came from Business Week magazine and addresses studies that have found women to be better executive leaders than men. In addition to those two websites, I also found a site the provided me with essential quantitative information. The AACSB site displayed many facts and figures regarding the number of Masters Degrees and college degrees that have been awarded in the United States over the past 50 years.

My second group of sources deals with the downfalls of being a woman in business. The site titled Feminist Research addresses many of the issues that I would like to elaborate on through out the course of the semester. This site touches on topics such as the glass ceiling, and it causes. Most interestingly, this site discusses many of the myths and facts that are associated with business women. The article titled Women and Minority Owned Businesses explains a few of the inequities women face when opening up a new business. The biggest obstacle, according to this article, is obtaining capital. The content of another source, Turning Advantages into Disadvantages, overlaps with a few of the topics found in the articles mentioned above. This particular article does a great job at explaining the barriers that women encounter, and also touches on topics such networking and capital finance.

Finally, my last group of sources consists of miscellaneous articles. Although I originally thought that these articles would be of little use to me, I have found them to be quite useful. For example, the Fortune piece titled Power Portraits contains very little writing and mainly consists of portraits depicting prominent business leaders. These portraits alone inspired me to write my last blog post titled “Where Are All The Women?” The Forbes article titled Don’t Marry a Career Women, was another article that I wasn’t sure what I would do with. Shortly after I discovered it, I used it to write one of my first comments on another blogger's page.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Where Are All The Women? (#2)

A couple of months ago, I decided to subscribe to Fortune magazine. There was no particular reason really, I simply thought it would be good to learn a little more about business. In all honesty, I had never read or even looked through a Fortune magazine before. Although the magazine was completely new to me, I already had an idea about what type of people, images, and content I would find inside. I was almost certain I would find articles dealing with successful male and female business leaders, working together, side by side, as equals. That may sound naive and even silly, but it was truly what I expected. After looking through issue number one, I found that my perceptions about women in business had been incorrect. In the world of Fortune magazine, women appeared to be non- existent.

The first issue I received had a picture portfolio titled, Portraits of Power. The 31 individuals included in the portfolio are, according to Fortune, “. . . the leaders who personify the promise- and peril- of the business world. . .”. Who are these magnificent leaders? Allow me to name a few: Steve Jobs- CEO of Apple Computers, Lakshmi Mittal- CEO of Arcelor Mittal, Alden McDonald- CEO of Liberty Bank & Trust, Eric Shmidt- CEO of Google, Mark Hurd- CEO of Hewlett Packard, etc. As I finished observing the portfolio, I went back, and examined it once more. I didn’t go back to admire the impressive photographs of the prestigious leaders. No, I went back to count the number of women that were included in the spread. Out of the 31 individuals who were photographed, only four were women. My first thought was, “Where are all the women?” The dismal amount of women found in Fortune’s “power” photos, and in the entire magazine for that matter, didn’t shock or surprise me. It simply bothered me. A month later, issue number two came in. I found the same thing- lots of men, few women. Thirty days later, issue number three was delivered. Surprise! Even more men and even fewer women. Once again I asked myself, “Where are all the women?”

Here's the question: Is Fortune magazine male biased, or are they simply depicting the state of the business world as it is today?

Before I started researching this topic, I honestly believed that times had changed. After all, I had seen so many articles proclaiming, “Women have shattered the Glass Ceiling!”, "Women Gain Respect in Board Rooms" and “You’ve come a long Way Baby!” But these proclamations can be a bit deceiving. Despite what the headlines may read, women continue to hold no more than 5 percent of executive positions. How long will it take for this percentage to go up significantly?

There are several myths about women in business. One myth, according to the Feminist Majority Website, goes as follows:

Now that women are a third of business school graduates and a significant proportion of middle management, it is just a matter of time before we reach equality in the board rooms and in the executive suites of the corporate world.

This “myth” is exactly what I believed. The unfortunate reality is that competence, intelligence, credentials, and even years of experience is not enough to guarantee women upward mobility in the business world. Two studies found that women with MBAs were actually exposed to fewer job opportunities than men. As a business student, and future graduate student, this information is disturbing and discouraging.

For those who believe that the above myth is actually a fact, and women will indeed reach equality in no time, consider the following:

As long ago as 1968, 15% of all managers were women. Assuming it takes 15 to 25 years for a manager to become a senior executive, women today should comprise at least 15% of those at the top. But women make up only 3. 1% of senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, and at the Fortune Service 500 only 4.3% of executives are women. At the current rates of increase, it will be 475 years - or until the year 2466 - before women reach equality in executive suites.

475 years? I don’t have that kind of time.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Profile Evaluation

What is its name and subject? The name of the blog is Marketing Roadmaps.

Who writes it? Susan Getgood

What is their relation to the field? Susan works in the marketing field.

Where are they located in the field? Her area of expertise is in Public Relations.

How frequently do they post? Susan posts quite frequently, more than twice a week.

How popular is the blog? Her blog appears to be fairly popular, especially to those who are in Public Relations themselves.

How well does this blog relate to your work? The blog itself deals mainly with PR work, which is not what I will be focusing on this semester. Only one of her post relates to a topic that I want to elaborate on as the semester progresses.

To what extent is it scholarly, academic, professional? The blog is not very academic, scholarly, or professional. Although Susan is a professional business woman, who mainly posts stories regarding her job in PR, she writes very casually, almost as if she’s having a conversation with a friend.

How rich or detailed are its posts? The one particular post that I was drawn to was not detailed at all. It was succinct and blunt.

Who is its audience? Her audience appears to be other people who work in Public Relations. In most of her posts, she uses a lot of marketing jargon and terminology, and the people commenting seem to know what she’s referring to.

How might this blog feed your work? The blog itself will not be as helpful as I would like it to be. Only one of Susan’s post will be of any use to me.

How will your site differ? Her blog is centered around her day to day activities in the world of PR. My blog will not concentrate on only one career.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Comment re: We've come a long Way Baby

As a business major at USC, and future business woman, I found the article in Forbes magazine demeaning and upsetting. I completely agree with Mary’s comment, the “old white guys establishment is living in fear of women….” The women of today are more ambitious, intelligent, and determined than ever before, and this definitely makes men uneasy. Despite what the Forbes article claims, being a great wife and being a career women are NOT mutually exclusive. I personally know a number of successful career women who are great wives and mothers. My question is, when will the world stop bashing on career women? Women have been chipping away at that class ceiling for so long, and now that they’ve finally been able to partially crack through it, men label them as terrible wives and mothers. Forbes, your facts and figures don’t impress me, stop shining such an unattractive light on women.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ladies, how hard is it to climb to the top? -Very! (#3)

Climbing the corporate ladder is rather difficult to do. It takes great problem solving abilities, leadership qualities, and interpersonal skills. While both men and women are capable of possessing these qualities, there continues to be these false stereotypes, fueling the idea that women are incapable of successfully working in high power positions. According to some, women are more likely to drop their careers to start a family. They are complacent and do not dream as big as men. They are less assertive and far too compassionate. They are extremely sensitive and are more likely to burst into tears during a boardroom meeting. Through the years, women have been wrongfully typecast as emotional, inept damsels, who couldn’t possibly run a big scary company all on their own. These misconceptions and ideas about women’s capabilities simply reinforce the “glass ceiling”, making it harder for them to succeed in the cut throat business world.

Although the female presence in the business world is much more felt than it was in the past, the percentage of women holding top management positions remains dismal. According to an online article titled Gender Stereotypes Block Female Advancements, women made up less than two percent of U.S Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 CEOs in 2005. This percentage is quite disturbing and unjustifiable. There is definitely not a shortage of competent, educated, ambitious business women in the world. On the contrary, you will find that the women of today are more educated and determined than ever before. Throughout the past couple of decades, studies have found that more women have been attending four year universities and have been receiving MBAs. According to the Center of Educational Statistics, out of 17,795 MBA degrees that were awarded in the United States in 1965, a mere 609 went to women. 30 years later, in 1996, 93,982 total MBAs were awarded, and 35,297 of those were earned by women. This number has grown and will undoubtedly continue to grow as time passes.

Although women are willing and able to take on executive positions, many of them realize that there is limited upward mobility in their jobs. Because their jobs restrain them from growth, many women decide to create their own businesses. But even after becoming entrepreneurs, women are unable to dis-attach themselves from those pesky stereotypes, and must continue to overcome the countless obstacles that are placed in their paths. What are some of these obstacles?According to an article titled Turning Disadvantages into Advantages, women have great trouble accessing capital. They also “lack networks of information, assistance and mentors”. Some female entrepreneurs have lost contracts with business men, simply because of their gender. Other women say that their clients are often times surprised to find out that they are in charge, not their husbands.

In addition to the stereotypes and hurdles that women face, they must also endure some tough double standards. In a New York Times article titled How Carly Lost Her Gender Groove readers learn about Carly Fiorina, the ex C.E.O of Hewlett- Packard. Despite Carly's executive position, she continued to fall victim to those relentless double standards. According to Carly, she was labeled “vindictive” when she fired someone, but when a male colleague did the same, he was viewed as “decisive”. And while Carly sacrificed her time and energy to be the best business women she could be, she received very little respected and was called, “too ambitious”, “too soft”, “too hard”, and was deemed a “bitch” and a “bimbo”. Now, would a male CEO be described as too ambitious or too hard? Probably not. He would most likely be praised and patted on the back for a job well done.

As you can see, there are numerous obstacles, stereotypes, and inequities that business women must endure everyday. The overall purpose of this blog is not to discourage aspiring business women, but to inform them. Often times information is the best way to bring about some change, and things definitely need to change.