If you’re like me, you have chuckled at Charlotte Whitton’s quote: “Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.” But even though we may laugh at it, the reality is that gender bias at work is not funny. It remains pervasive in most professions today, along with pay inequity, by the way. In a recent letter to the editor of the New York Times, Mary Hedley of Piedmont, California responded to an article about the experiences of female American soldiers. In it she asserted she had experienced the same “double-barreled bias” as a lawyer, as had many of her friends in other professions. Is your profession guilty of double-barreled gender bias? It might be if you find the following statement to be true.
Male (insert your profession here) tend to be presumed competent until they prove otherwise, while female (insert your profession again ) are often presumed incompetent until they prove themselves to be capable.
True gender equality means that women are presumed to be as capable as men, instead of having to prove it by working twice as hard. Are you as tired as I am about waiting for the presumptions to change?
|Cathy Standiford is passionately committed to improving the lives of women and girls, locally and globally, and advocating for their basic human rights. Cathy served as 2009-2010 President of Soroptimist International of the Americas, LiveYourDream.org’s sponsoring organization: a global volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.|