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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches

This week in our Women in Comms roundup: Cell C's CEO comes under fire for radio show comments; Clinton plays the woman card; Intel discusses diversity backlash; and more.


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  • The CEO of South African wireless operator C Cell, José dos Santos, is coming under well-deserved fire after comments he made on a radio show, including that, first, hiring gorgeous women will help men present themselves better at work and, most cringe-worthy, that women have a "bitch switch" that can get flipped in the workplace. He said, "They just have a different way of managing, they have a different way of engaging meetings and engaging with parties and it creates a different dynamic. If I can use the term on your radio station, women do have a bitch switch and, boy, if you see two women fighting, it's worse than two men having an argument." Not helping out your fellow telcos there, dos Santos!

  • In more news about "things that aren't real about women," Donald Trump this week accused Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton of getting votes based solely on the "woman card," a comment that his senior advisor followed up by saying that those women who vote for Clinton must not be using their brains. Clinton's team responded by making woman cards an actual thing for her supporters that donate to her campaign. No word yet on whether Trump will follow up with his own "sexist cards."

  • It's commonly said that men tend to be bolder than women in business, but a new study from leadership consultancy Zenger/Folkman suggests that women may actually be the bold ones, especially in those career functions that are the most male dominated. The firm created a "boldness index" to analyze its database of 75,000 leaders and found that women, on average, ranked in the 52nd percentile of boldness, while men came in 49th percentile. Sales functions had the highest bold scores, while engineering was lowest -- and women outscored men in every category. Women in the under-30 age group also tended to rate higher on the boldness index.

  • While Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) is largely lauded for its wide-scale diversity and inclusion efforts, they have been met with some resistance -- and even some threats from the inside, according to CEO Brian Krzanich. Speaking at a conference recently, Krzanich said that, "People worry that as a white man, you're kind of under siege to a certain extent. And, he added, "there's been a bit of resistance. We've even had a few threats and things like that on some of our leadership team around our position on diversity and inclusion." His response to these "threats" has been to explain to his employees that all of Intel's efforts are around inclusion of everyone rather than exclusion of any other demographic. (See Intel Closed the Gender Pay Gap in 2015 and Intel Hired 43% Women, Minorities in 2015.)

  • While some studies have found that younger women tend to ask for -- and get -- more money in entry-level jobs, a new one from the Economic Policy Institute suggests the pay gap is actually getting worse for this group. Paychecks for young female college graduates are about 79% as large as those of their male peers, a decline from last year when the equivalent figure was 84%. From 1990 to 2000, women age 21 to 24 with college degrees earned 92% of their male peers. The study did not, however, break down what industries these recent graduates were entering. (See WiCipedia: Young Women, Verizon Strikers Demand More.)

    — Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

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    Sarah Thomas 4/29/2016 | 3:34:18 PM
    Re: use your words, people! And I can think of a number of women who'd rather work for women! We all have anecdotes, but grossly stereotyping professional women in such a sexist way is not appropriate or accurate. Calling a woman a bitch, especially in a professional setting, is also not appropriate. My guess is a man could act the same way and no one would be calling him that.
    Jeremy11x 4/29/2016 | 3:04:02 PM
    Re: use your words, people! Perhaps he could have used a better set of words, but if you've EVER worked around a group of women, you KNOW he was right!!    I can't think of the number of WOMEN who have commented that they'd rather work in a group of men then a group of women, in several of the companies that I've worked for.    So, would you rather he be honest, or 'just politically correct'??
    Sarah Thomas 4/29/2016 | 1:22:18 PM
    use your words, people! In this day of social media and Internet backlash, it's baffling to me why people -- especially people in power -- don't choose their words more carefully. i'm not surprised by Trump, of course, but the CEO of a major cellular operator should know better. He could've avoided having to make a public apology and damaging his company's credibility if he would've thought before spoke. If I were a woman working at his company, I would be pretty ticked off at being marganilized like that. 
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