February 12, 2015
Women, in the vast majority of organizations, face a double bind when it comes to speaking up. They are either perceived as being too aggressive, or they are just plain ignored.
In today’s link, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant summarize some recent studies that prove what most women already know: the “double bind” is real and just about everywhere. They offer several examples as well as some practical strategies for companies to overcome gender biases.
Turns out the game changer in this bias culture isn’t likely to be sensitivity training or having all professional interactions done anonymously. Sifting through the available research, Sandberg and Grant conclude that, “The long-term solution to the double bind of speaking while female is to increase the number of women in leadership roles. (As we noted in our previous article, research shows that when it comes to leadership skills, although men are more confident, women are more competent.)”
Their parenthetical note should serve as a wake-up call for organizations and businesses. As more women enter the top tiers of organizations, people become more accustomed to their brilliant leading, and gender bias against them is simultaneously ushered towards the rubbish bin where it belongs.