Why can't a woman boast like a man?
Here is the latest in the Gender Wars research:
The discrepancy increases with women older than 50, the study states.
"Women have imposed their own glass ceiling, and the question is why," said Scott Taylor, an assistant professor at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management who conducted the study.
In the study, 251 male and female managers from different industries nationwide rated themselves and requested ratings from supervisors, peers and subordinates. Each subject also was asked to predict the ratings made by others.
Taylor collected the data for the study in 2005 while a doctoral student at Cleveland-based Case Western Reserve University.
The ratings measured nine elements of emotional and social competence essential to leadership: communication ability, initiative, self-awareness, self-control, empathy, bond-building, teamwork, conflict management and trustworthiness.
The men who were studied slightly overestimated how their bosses would rate them, while the female respondents underestimated their ratings on average by about 11 percent.
In 2008, the Census Bureau estimated women receive only about 78 cents for every dollar that men get for doing equivalent jobs.
Bonnie Coffey, president of the National Association of Commissions for Women, said women are unable to predict their bosses' assessments because of media images, particularly those of older women, that show them as silver-haired beauties or grandmothers in dumpy dresses.
"If you recognize that society doesn't really value older women, then you say, 'Gee, this isn't where I belong. Maybe I shouldn't be asking for a raise. Maybe I shouldn't be speaking up at meetings," Coffey said.
Cara Waymire, vice president for human resources at insurance brokerage Hub International in Albuquerque, said when she works with female employees on getting raises or promotions, she notices they are more likely to focus on shortcomings rather than accomplishments.
"They think the boss needs to think they hung the moon in order for them to ask for anything," Waymire said.
Women also are more likely to be less direct than men, as so many husbands complain. (''What's the matter?'' ''Nothing.'')
Of course, I generalize. But these factors play into how women fare in the workplace. They don't get the raises or the promotions, the perks or the recognition, because they have bought into the myth that they should be seen and not heard, that they should be supportive and not out in front, and, most important, they have never really learned to fight, the way guys do.
A newly published study that included college basketball, soccer and softball players found nearly three-quarters of them engage in "apologetic behaviours" -- stereotypically feminine conduct such as cultivating a girlie appearance, apologizing for being aggressive and hanging out with men to emphasize their heterosexuality -- to deflect prejudice.
"If you break a norm, you apologize. If I burp out loud, I know this offended other people, so I apologize," says Laurel Davis-Delano, a professor of sociology at Springfield College in Massachusetts, explaining why researchers label these behaviours apologetic. "If you are offending people's sense of gender ideals... people don't necessarily realize they're apologizing, but you are catering to other people's sense of what's proper."
Most sports are still associated with masculinity in Western cultures, so female athletes are challenging gender expectations by their very participation, she says.
"You may be considered to be more masculine, just because you are a good athlete," says one study participant. Another says, "Most female athletes are lesbians."
"We have come a long way but we still have a little ways to come in equality," says Katie Willis, an 18-year-old ski-jumper from Calgary who was part of the lawsuit lobbying for the women's event to be included in the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. "I know a lot of girls sometimes don't feel they're equal to the guys when they're playing, or they're not respected as much."
Maybe the idea of physical power in a woman is intimidating. Although the Williams sisters are the better tennis players, their muscular physiques -- which are strong, curvy and feminine -- don't get the media attention and endorsements that much-much-lower ranked Anna Kournikova does.
Research at the University of Minnesota indicates that female managers are more likely to suffer sexual harassment on the job than women who are not supervisors. "This study provides the strongest evidence to date supporting the theory that sexual harassment is less about sexual desire than about control and domination," said researcher and sociologist Heather McLaughlin.
(And, while we're on the subject ...)
So, here's how all this adds up: Women with the eggs to demand higher wages and better positions reach the top only to get cut down by resentful men who use sexuality to undermine them.
UPPITY WOMAN DATE: More at Jezebel.