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Lynne Parker reflects on an article by Daniel Boffey in the Observer newspaper entitled 'Why women's jokes fall flat in the boardroom' which reviews the findings of a study by Dr Judith Baxter, a linguistics expert, about women's behaviour in the boardroom. The study raises questions about how women use humour in the workplace, specifically the boardroom, the ultimate 'boys club' where even some of the women wear trousers.
If a woman employs the direct, masculine approach to any sort of confrontation in business, in or out of the boardroom, she is more often or not described as 'aggressive' or 'bossy'. Men are more comfortable with a woman flirting her way out of a situation than confronting them.
I've just been quoted in an article by Daniel Boffey in theObserver newspaper yesterday entitled 'Why women's jokes fall flat in the boardroom' which reviews the findings of a study by Dr Judith Baxter, a linguistics expert, about women's behaviour in the boardroom. The study raises questions about how women use humour in the workplace, specifically the boardroom, the ultimate 'boys club' where even some of the women wear trousers.
Having spent the last 10 years listening to and watching nearly 2,000 female comedy acts, and 35 years working in business and the media, I can confirm that women's humour is not always as self-deprecating at Dr Baxter's study would have us believe. I don't profess to be an 'expert' and can only take as I find, but women's humour is evolving.
The AP reports on the "Mommy Wars," the confluence in less than a month of a campaign-trail scuffle involving Mitt Romney's wife, Ann; Elisabeth Badinter's new book; and most of all a provocative magazine cover — conveniently tied to Mother's Day — all of which has led to a burst of online chatter and a renewal of those "Mommy Wars" headlines.
But it has also led to reflection, and calls for a cease-fire in those same wars, as well as a jettisoning of the phrase itself. Aren't we finally ready, some are asking, to give it a rest, and acknowledge what many already feel — that there are lots of ways to be a good mother?
"It's time to end the Mommy Wars," wrote Jen Singer recently on her blog, Mommasaid.net. "How about we all stop arguing over which mom works harder and whether or not Ann Romney worked at all and who bakes a better cookie, Hillary Clinton or Barbara Bush?"
"So who's with me?" wrote another prominent "mommy blogger," Katie Allison Granju. "Who will join my proposed campaign of non-violent resistance against the mommy wars?"
The term "Mommy Wars" has been around for at least two decades — it appeared in a 1990 Newsweek piece on the struggle between working and stay-at-home mothers. But the term seems to have expanded to encompass any divisive parenting issue, and it's recycled every time a new motherhood controversy arises.
Speakers at the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s inaugural Women in Private Equity Forum have come out largely against hiring quotas as a solution to the lack of women working in the industry.
Panellists including Zeina Bain, a director in leveraged buyouts at the Carlyle Group, and guest speaker Laura Tenison, founder of Jojo Maman Bebe, spoke out against the use of quotas following a European Commission proposal to impose mandatory quotas and a report by Lord Davies in which he called for more female board representation at FTSE 100 companies.
Bain said: “I am against quotas. It is hard enough to be taken seriously as a woman. You put yourself out there when you are working on a deal. If there are quotas in place, [people might say] does she know what she is talking about? Why is she here?”
Tenison said in a speech about her experience as an entrepreneur that she disagreed with quotas, noting that she believed that the hiring process should be dependent solely on achievements and merit. “It just so happens that all the directors [on Jojo Maman Bebe’s board], apart from one, are women, and that is because they are right for the job."
In a straw poll of about 80 attendees, only a handful agreed with the use of quotas.
hree out of four women report they are somewhat, very or extremely stressed. Among those who are extremely stressed, 82 percent said they are uncomfortable with their financial situation. In addition, 58 percent of women report having gained weight in the past 10 years. That number jumps to 68 percent among women identifying themselves as extremely stressed.
The survey focused on the tie between health, stress and financial issues. In support of National Women's Health Week, May 13-19, Aviva USA and Mayo Clinic encourage all Americans to establish habits to improve their overall health and well-being.
Although the majority of American women say they have gained weight in the past 10 years and feel stressed, nearly four out of five women consider themselves to be in good to excellent health. So why should these women worry?
According to research published by the American Psychological Association, female terrorists are likely to be educated, employed and native residents of the country where they commit a terrorist act - much like their male counterparts.
The findings contradict stereotypes presented in previous studies that describe female terrorists as socially isolated and vulnerable to recruitment because they are uneducated, unemployed and from a foreign land, psychologists reported in a study published online in the APA journal Law and Human Behavior. These assumptions are not supported by evidence, according to the study authors.
Forbes reports that after a stunning $2 billion trading loss, JPMorgan Chase‘s chief investment officer, Ina Drew, 55, will step down. The 30-year banking veteran oversaw the London unit responsible for the ill-fated trades and was one of three resignations announced so far, including a top London official, Achilles Macris, and a senior trader, Javier Martin-Artaj.
The exit of one of Wall Street’s most powerful women spotlights the dwindling numbers of women at the top. Last year, Sallie Krawcheck left her post as Bank of America‘s president of global wealth management, and Heidi Miller retired as head of JPMorgan’s international operations. This followed the headline-making departures of Lehman Brothers CFO Erin Callan in 2008 and Morgan Stanley president Zoe Cruz in 2007.
“Here we go again. Another woman at the top of Wall Street is toppled,” says Jane Newton, founder of the Wall Street Women Forum and wealth manager and partner at RegentAtlantic Capital. “[Drew] was one of the most experienced, savvy and respected Wall Streeters. This is a blow to other women who want to climb to the top. There’s one less role model and one less female leader to bring diversity, which is sorely needed.”
The Washington Post reports that Army leaders have begun to study the prospect of sending female soldiers to the service’s prestigious Ranger school — another step in the effort to broaden opportunities for women in the military.
Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, said Wednesday that he’s asked senior commanders to provide him with recommendations and a plan this summer. And while he stressed that no decisions have been made, he suggested that Ranger school may be a logical next step for women as they move into more jobs closer to the combat lines.
“If we determine that we’re going to allow women to go in the infantry and be successful, they are probably at some time going to have to go through Ranger school,” Odierno told reporters. “If we decide to do this, we want the women to be successful.”
It brings together communities, businesses, government, health organizations, and other groups in an effort to promote women’s health. The theme for 2012 is “It’s Your Time.” National Women’s Health Week empowers women to make their health a top priority. It also encourages women to take the following steps to improve their physical and mental health and lower their risks of certain diseases.
Everybody, it seems, is talking about women in this campaign — what they should do, how they should act, who they should be in society. But do women see themselves reflected in the dialogue — or is the mirror of political rhetoric distorting their concerns? How, exactly, is all this talk about women playing among women?
You could hear these issues play out on a recent day in this key presidential swing state — first, at the equal pay protest, but later at a hotel near Broncos stadium, where five conservative women led a panel discussion to strategize about reframing the rhetoric and working to woo more women voters to their camp this year. There was passion, but there was also irritation. Some women said talk about contraception was a distracting sideshow; others said the preoccupation of some politicians with abortion showed they were out of touch.
"They really must not know what exactly is going on," said a university student with friends who've had both babies and abortions. "They" are the male politicians who still outnumber women at all levels of elective office, but also the two men running for president who keep trying to one-up each other in reaching out to this vital, but hardly monolithic, voting bloc.
The upshot: Whether seen as real or manufactured, something about the so-called "war" is resonating among American women who could well make the difference on Election Day. Many are acting out and speaking up. Many are, in fact, girding for battle, in one way or another.
It goes to show that no matter how high up in business or politics a woman gets — or how hard she falls — in the end the focus is often about how she looks and not what she does.
“We’re still held to a double standard,” said Jennifer Siebel Newsom, who produced the 2011 documentary “Miss Representation” about the underrepresentation of women in powerful positions.
“It’s tragic,” she said. “We have an obsession with women’s looks. Unfortunately our culture has bought into this whole double standard that a women’s value is her beauty not her capacity to lead.”
Women certainly feel the pressure to look good. Nearly half of women don’t feel good about themselves unless they’re wearing makeup, according to a study released this year by the Renfrew Center Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on eating disorder research and treatment.