Women in power – what will it take?


8:45 am - March 7th 2012

by Cath Elliott    


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According to the most recent figures from Fawcett, men now outnumber women 4 to 1 in Westminster.

In fact only 22% of MPs are women, 22% of peers are women, and 17% (20 out of 119) of government ministers are women.

As far as the media goes, there are only 2 female editors of national newspapers in this country and, according to a recent piece of research carried out for the Guardian, 78% of newspaper articles are written by men; 72% of BBC Question Time contributors are men, and 84% of reporters and guests on Radio 4′s Today programme are men.


Women make up a majority of full-time teachers, but only just over a third of secondary school heads are women. Only 15% of high court judges are women, and there’s only one female supreme high court judge.

There are only two logical conclusions that can be drawn from such staggering differences between men’s and women’s representation on the highest rungs of just about every career ladder out there.

Either women are just really really crap at their chosen careers, or there’s something else going on that’s preventing them from getting to the top.

And my experience tells me that women are not really really crap.

So what is it exactly that’s standing in our way?

Which brings us to glass ceilings and sticky floors, the invisible barriers that both prevent women from rising to the top of their professions.

They might for instance insist on holding residential away days or training events without making any provision for childcare. Or they might do a lot of their key networking and planning on the golf course or in lap dancing clubs and other sex encounter establishments.

There might be a long hours culture, where employees are expected to stay late no matter what their domestic commitments in order to get the job done, night after night after night, because work-life balance is a foreign country, and in our capitalist money-beats-all culture we’re all supposed to act as though we don’t have children, or home lives, or interests outside of the organisations we’ve committed to working for.

Women are still being held back because workplaces are not women friendly: there aren’t enough workplace nurseries, and the cost of alternative childcare can be prohibitive. There’s a reluctance to bring in family-friendly working policies, such as flexible working or condensed hours.

But I think things go even deeper than that.

Because I think part of the reason women’s representation at the very highest levels of business, and politics, and the media, is so paltry, begins before women even make it into the workplace.

Patriarchy. The way society, and that includes the early socialisation of our children and the gender stereotyping that attempts to dictate the different paths our boys and girls should follow. Men made the rules, and the rules they made, the systems they set up, help them hold on to power.

That’s what’s holding us back.

And every time we challenge that power, every time women make progress in so-called ‘men’s spheres’, we’re met with a backlash.

It’s one step forward, and two steps back. What better illustration of this is there than the fact that despite us being over 40 years away from the equal pay act we still don’t have equal pay.

But what can we do to tackle all this? What can we do to ensure our daughters and our granddaughters are not restricted by the same barriers?

Well, obviously as a trade unionist I’d like to encourage all of you at the very first opportunity you get when you commence your careers to join whichever trade union services your workplace. Unions brought us many of the gains we’re now struggling to maintain: holiday pay; sickness pay; maternity leave and pay, the list goes on.

But I also want us, women, to think about doing things differently.

Just as an example, where women have succeeded in getting to the top in numbers is the voluntary sector, where 48% of chief execs are now women. I think you’ll find in a lot of cases those chief execs are running by women for women organisations, organisations set up by women, run by women, helping women.

And I want us to think about ways of working, ways of creating success, that do not simply replicate patriarchal, hierarchical power structures.

I want us to do things differently, to be more imaginative. Because if the last century or so has taught us anything it’s that the system as it is now isn’t working. It’s not working for women, and it’s not working for the working class.

And it’s time for a change.


This is the text of a speech I delivered today as part of Warwick University’s International Women’s Week. The event was also live blogged on the Student Journals site – here.

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About the author
Cath Elliott is a regular contributor. She is a feminist, a trade union activist, and a freelance writer and blogger. Also at: Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. gastro george

Universal, free or cheap, high-quality childcare.

2. Shatterface

Because I think part of the reason women’s representation at the very highest levels of business, and politics, and the media, is so paltry, begins before women even make it into the workplace.

Patriarchy….

That’s what’s holding us back.

If it were down to ideology, then social inequality would manifest itself more in young women than the older.

Young women are more subject to their parents influence and the legacy of the education system, and they are more likely to be regarded as ‘sex objects’ – yet they are outdoing boys in education, and they outnumber men in many fields.

This is a structural problem, not one of false consciousness.

3. Chaise Guevara

“Either women are just really really crap at their chosen careers, or there’s something else going on that’s preventing them from getting to the top.”

There’s also the possibility that fewer women choose the careers you list in the first place, or (where applicable) that women are less likely to be interested in the education paths that lead to these careers.

Another issue is that someone in a top job now may be benefiting from biased policy decades ago, back when they first started working. I’d be interested in seeing stats on how far men and women who started work 10 years ago have progressed in their careers.

I’m not saying there isn’t a problem here, and I agree that workplaces could be more family-friendly, but I don’t think it’s as bad as the stark figures presented above suggest at first glance. And it certainly doesn’t come down to “women are crap” vs “the ruling hand of patriachy”.

There might be a long hours culture, where employees are expected to stay late no matter what their domestic commitments in order to get the job done, night after night after night, because work-life balance is a foreign country, and in our capitalist money-beats-all culture we’re all supposed to act as though we don’t have children, or home lives, or interests outside of the organisations we’ve committed to working for.

Um, in the City and the legal profession pretty much this. That’s why female senior partners and high-ranking bankers generally either don’t have kids, or don’t see them. My wife and I are both City lawyers, and eventually one of us is going to have to stop if we want to play any part in our kid’s lives. We haven’t decided which yet.

It’s a slight red herring to throw in High Court Judges though – most of these will have been called to the bar in the 60s and 70s, and with the best will in the world we can’t retrospectively make that time less sexist.

5. Shatterface

The problem with the term ‘patriarchy’ is either a desription of an unequal society, so blaming it for inequality a tautology, and adds nothing to the discussion; or else a method of ideological production defined by feminist theory in such a way as to be irredeemably contaminated by post-structuralist, post-Saussurian, post-Marxist, post-Freudian horseshit.

6. the a&e charge nurse

I would rephrase the proposition slightly.

Those in power are, in the main, from a relatively narrow social spectrum, and always have been.

The class they belong is less handicapped by all of the usual obstacles that prevent working class women from getting on (and working class men of course).

So, why aren’t more posh women maximising their presence amongst the power elites – maybe the are simply too well off to really care one way or the other?

It is tempting to view numbers of women in parliaments as the yardstick. Arguably, and in view of the obvious power wielded by businesses, especially banks, female managing directors/board members/hedge fund owners is much more telling.

@3 – your second point is certainly applicable here. Most of the careers and positions mentioned in the article are occupied by middle-aged and older people. They began their careers at a time when, for example, males dominated universities and business (more than they do now). Given that career progression takes a pretty long time, it isn’t surprising that we are looking at a demographic forged 30-40 years ago. It will take some time for the modern view of equality to percolate through the system, and I expect by the time it does, it too will be outmoded by something newer.

In the news from Afghanistan:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has backed a statement from the country’s top religious body calling for stronger restrictions on women’s freedoms.
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/132090/karzai-backs-afghan-clerics-over-stronger-restrictions-on-women-.html

10. the a&e charge nurse

[8] medicine is already there The number of female doctors in the UK has risen by 37% cent since 2001, while the number of male doctors has dropped by 8%. New figures show that 42% of all doctors are women.

This trend means that within a few short years most doctors will be female.

Most work in general practice (47% currently) probably because this sphere has greater potential for greater flexible working hours compared to hospital work.

Quote: “For the first time in history, a majority of British women are going to university. The most recent increase has been quite small: in 2008-9, 51% of young women entered higher education, up from 49% the previous year. . . What is of greater significance, however, is the other half of this statistic: that only 40% of young men today are going to university. This is a greater proportion than ever before, too. But it pales in comparison to the number of women.” [April 2010]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/apr/02/female-students-majority-women-university

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 7 rentergirl

“It is tempting to view numbers of women in parliaments as the yardstick. Arguably, and in view of the obvious power wielded by businesses, especially banks, female managing directors/board members/hedge fund owners is much more telling.”

Agreed – and for maximum effect, group the gender membership of ALL high-powered groups rather than just picking a few that may be unrepresentative.

There’s two big problems with using parliament. 1) A public career in politics appeals to a certain sort of person (confident/arrogant, idealistic, thick-skinned, driven/obsessive, plenty of free time and resources), and males may or may not fall into that group more often than females. 2) MPs are voted in, not chosen by employers. If most members of the electorate prefer male representatives to females, that’s discrimination, but not a kind we can fix via legislation: you can’t exactly tell the voters of Little Whinging to go back and vote again because they picked a bloke.

13. Chaise Guevara

@ 8 Bingo

Yes, exactly. To force equality through quicker, you’d have to mandate positive discrimination (e.g. “50% of people promoted or hired to jobs paying £100,000+ in your company must be female, even if 90% of applicants are male”). I think that’s a bad idea, partly because it’s actively discriminatory against individuals from the overdog group, and partly because it promotes a backlash against members of the underdog group and against equal rights laws in general. You’ll get a LOT of women trying to deal with staff who hate them because “she only got the job cos she’s female”, even if they were genuinely the best person for the role.

As I recall, many avowed leftists didn’t like our first woman PM. Personally, I’m more impressed by the realisation that the majority of women are now going to university, that most undergraduates are now women and that most GPs will be women in the near future. As Orwell put it back in 1936, working class lads think that staying on at school for more education is “contemptible and unmanly”. Quite so. Beer, football and page 3 are so much more important in life.

14
George Orwell died in 1950 and The Sun was founded in 1963, so I don’t think his comments were about page 3.

As far as Thatcher is concerned, it wasn’t her gender that was the problem for ‘lefties’ it was her class, and her policies which negatively affected the working-class.

16. Chaise Guevara

@ Bob B

Along with what Jojo says, trying to judge people’s attitude towards female politicians based on their reaction to a single female politician is statistical nonsense. You might as well say that every white American who didn’t vote for Obama is racist.

As far as using Thatcher to gauge gender issues, I think it’s vastly more interesting that people commonly joke that she was a man in a dress. Thatcher doesn’t actually look or sound like a man, so does this mean that we equate authority to masculinity?

Jojo and Chaise

I think you are forgetting this: “Though white children in general do better than most minorities at school, poor ones come bottom of the league (see chart). Even black Caribbean boys, the subject of any number of initiatives, do better at GCSEs”
http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14700670

IME some local education authorities work to the formula:

Poor schooling standards => uncertain education prospects for school leavers => vote Labour

A laddish culture accords with Labour values – which is why New Labour introduced 24-hour drinking.

18. Chaise Guevara

Really not seeing how that’s relevant to my post, Bob. At what point did I forget that?

@16 Chaise: “Thatcher doesn’t actually look or sound like a man, so does this mean that we equate authority to masculinity?”

Apparently so. There was an item in the BBC Today programme on Wednesday morning with a woman on complaining that voice-overs in movie trailers are almost invariably a man’s. Reportedly, this is because in Hollywood audience tests, maculine voices were rated as carrying more “authority” so audiences are figured as more likely to heed the promotional message. By news reports at the time, Mrs T’s voice became a PR issue in the early 1980s so she had elocution lessons to deepen the pitch.

For all that, in Australia, Julia Gilliard the PM, easily fought off a challenge by Kevin Rudd in a recent Labour Party leadership ballot – and I recall reading early reactions posted on the web by Australians when she first became PM. These were something along the lines of: Holy stripes, a pomme Shelia running Oz!”

20. the a&e charge nurse

“Because if the last century or so has taught us anything it’s that the system as it is now isn’t working” – if history has taught us anything, it is that no social system can ever be designed to work.

All we can do is try and ameliorate it’s worst excesses – by all means have more women in the top jobs but it will not alter this fundamental dynamic.

Mind you, some of the women we have got in parliament are just as useless as some of the men – and not just parliament either?
http://toryardvaark.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/palindorries.jpg

Elliott:

Just as an example, where women have succeeded in getting to the top in numbers is the voluntary sector, where 48% of chief execs are now women. I think you’ll find in a lot of cases those chief execs are running by women for women organisations, organisations set up by women, run by women, helping women.

aka separatism? Or the case that public sector women will set up female-oriented (or female only) voluntary organisations, while private sector women set up women-oriented businesses – aka separatism for fun and profit? Plus, would a hierarchical business structure be ‘patriarchal’ if there are no men involved (aka ‘Are co-ops feminist?’)?

Not sure how any of that gets more women into Parliament, though.

22. So Much For Subtlety

Either women are just really really crap at their chosen careers, or there’s something else going on that’s preventing them from getting to the top.

Or both.

And my experience tells me that women are not really really crap.

And other people’s experience might tell them otherwise. Anecdote is not data.

They might for instance insist on holding residential away days or training events without making any provision for childcare. Or they might do a lot of their key networking and planning on the golf course or in lap dancing clubs and other sex encounter establishments.

And the evidence that any of this prevents women rising to the top is what?

There might be a long hours culture, where employees are expected to stay late no matter what their domestic commitments in order to get the job done, night after night after night,/i>

There might be. It is called working. People who do not work will often find they do not succeed at it. This is not a barrier to women succeeding. It is a barrier to those who wish to do other things succeeding. Male or female.

Women are still being held back because workplaces are not women friendly: there aren’t enough workplace nurseries, and the cost of alternative childcare can be prohibitive. There’s a reluctance to bring in family-friendly working policies, such as flexible working or condensed hours.

No, women are not being held back. People who want to stay at home and look after their children are being held accountable. Women who do not have children do not suffer these disadvantages. Women who have chosen to have children have made a choice. Good for them. But that choice means they will not also rise to the top of their professions.

Patriarchy. The way society, and that includes the early socialisation of our children and the gender stereotyping that attempts to dictate the different paths our boys and girls should follow. Men made the rules, and the rules they made, the systems they set up, help them hold on to power.

That’s what’s holding us back.

Sure. It is all a conspiracy.

And every time we challenge that power, every time women make progress in so-called ‘men’s spheres’, we’re met with a backlash.

Thin skinned people rarely make changes. What backlash? Even if there is one, so what? Why does the opinion of a few men bother you so much?

It’s one step forward, and two steps back. What better illustration of this is there than the fact that despite us being over 40 years away from the equal pay act we still don’t have equal pay.

Yes you do. If you do not choose a lower paid more flexible job.

Just as an example, where women have succeeded in getting to the top in numbers is the voluntary sector, where 48% of chief execs are now women. I think you’ll find in a lot of cases those chief execs are running by women for women organisations, organisations set up by women, run by women, helping women.

So there is what I read today was called a “pink ghetto”? Not much of a stunning success is it?

And I want us to think about ways of working, ways of creating success, that do not simply replicate patriarchal, hierarchical power structures.

Good. So you don’t give a f**k how many women are in Parliament because that is simply replicating patriarchal hierarchical power structures, right?

Chaise Guevara (@12):

2) MPs are voted in, not chosen by employers. If most members of the electorate prefer male representatives to females, that’s discrimination, but not a kind we can fix via legislation: you can’t exactly tell the voters of Little Whinging to go back and vote again because they picked a bloke.

I suspect that won’t stop someone trying to do just that, while insisting that we dissolve the electorate and elect another to come up with the right result…

But seriously…even if you had all-female shortlists for safe/winnable seats, those seats are not the same for all parties (and possibly don’t exist re. the LibDems, but that’s by the by). Also, if voters choose on economic or political grounds, rather than on the candidate that matches their gender, you can’t predict the number of female MPs as a result. Labour’s policy of all-women shortlists, plus its landslide in 1997 still only produced 101 female MPs, not half the parliamentary party.

Oh, and one more thing: by Elliott’s logic ‘First Past the Post’ could be deemed ‘patriarchal’ (it was presumably ‘devised by men’), so maybe there’s some kind of feminist PR voting system that will produce a gender-balanced parliament (even if it means one with a Tory majority).

Chaise Guevara (@12)

2) MPs are voted in, not chosen by employers. If most members of the electorate prefer male representatives to females, that’s discrimination, but not a kind we can fix via legislation: you can’t exactly tell the voters of Little Whinging to go back and vote again because they picked a bloke.

I’m sure it won’t stop someone trying, while insisting that ‘we’ demand that the dissolve the electorate and elect another one to give the right result…

But seriously, getting a gender-balanced parliament is difficult even when polcies such as all-women shortlists for ‘safe’/winnable seats is in place (do the LibDems have any ‘safe seats’ these days?). Plus there may not be that much evidence thast voters choose by gender rather than by party. Labour’s 1997 landslide only produced 101 female MPs, rather than 50% of the parliamentary party.

Maybe Elliott’s argument suggests that ‘First Past the Post’ is ‘patriarchal’ (after all it was ‘devised by men’) – but that means there must be a feminist PR system that will produced a gender-balanced parliament (even if it’s one with a Tory majority).

Grrr – slow internet connection made me think the first post had been swallowed up. Apologies

26. So Much For Subtlety

15. jojo

As far as Thatcher is concerned, it wasn’t her gender that was the problem for ‘lefties’ it was her class, and her policies which negatively affected the working-class.

And yet much of the criticism of her was class and gender based. There was clearly a huge well spring of class snobbery and sexism among her critics. Remember the most common nice thing she was called was a Grocer’s daughter.

16. Chaise Guevara

Along with what Jojo says, trying to judge people’s attitude towards female politicians based on their reaction to a single female politician is statistical nonsense. You might as well say that every white American who didn’t vote for Obama is racist.

And yet you can easily find people who have said that about Americans. If people’s reaction to a single woman is sexist then it is not unreasonable to say that that person is sexist. When someone calls Sarah Palin a c*nt for instance, it comes from a deep place where Bill Maher has problems with women.

As far as using Thatcher to gauge gender issues, I think it’s vastly more interesting that people commonly joke that she was a man in a dress. Thatcher doesn’t actually look or sound like a man, so does this mean that we equate authority to masculinity?

No it means people making that joke are sexists and homophobes.

27. Chaise Guevara

@ 26 SMFS

“And yet you can easily find people who have said that about Americans.”

It’s unreasonable, though.

“If people’s reaction to a single woman is sexist then it is not unreasonable to say that that person is sexist. When someone calls Sarah Palin a c*nt for instance, it comes from a deep place where Bill Maher has problems with women.”

If the word’s being used in the usual American sense, then yes.

“No it means people making that joke are sexists and homophobes.”

Sure; I didn’t mean to imply that reactions to Thatcher mean we’re ALL sexist.

Could it be something to do with intelligence?

Women are, on average, equally as intelligent as men.

However, the distribution of women’s IQ is slightly different, with more clustering close to the mean, and fewer in either tail of the distribution curve.

That means there are fewer women in the ‘as thick-as-pig shit’ category, but fewer very high achievers too. If you have to be in the top 1% to get one of those jobs you cite, chances are you’ll see fewer women. (yes, I now this doesn’t apply to MPs!)

And then there’s the thing about babies, of course.

29. Chaise Guevara

@ 28 Rica

If true, that could indeed be a major factor. Have you got a source for it?

30. Chaise Guevara

Huh. A (very) brief browse of Google under a search for “male female IQ distribution” seems to casually bear Rica’s statement out. Of course, there’s the question of how big a difference in average IQs you’d need to generate a notable difference in employment rates. And, seeing as it’s IQs we’re talking about, also how well test results translate into an ability to deal with real-world problems.

@30

how well test results translate into an ability to deal with real-world problems.

General intelligence (in the literature typically called “cognitive ability”) is the best predictor of job performance by the standard measure, validity. Validity is the correlation between score and outcome – in this case job performance, as measured by a range of factors including supervisor ratings, promotions, training success, and tenure… The validity of cognitive ability for job performance tends to increase with job complexity and varies across different studies, ranging from 0.2 for unskilled jobs to 0.8 for the most complex jobs.

http://www.iq-tests.eu/iq-test-Practical-validity-800.html

32. Shatterface

That means there are fewer women in the ‘as thick-as-pig shit’ category, but fewer very high achievers too. If you have to be in the top 1% to get one of those jobs you cite, chances are you’ll see fewer women. (yes, I now this doesn’t apply to MPs!)

You’d have to show a correlation between intelligence and career success before you can even begin to speculate on a causal relationship. Even if there’s a correlation, it might be that having a ‘good job’ exercises the mental processes IQ tests measure.

And I wouldn’t take IQ scores too seriously as a measure of ‘intelligence’ either. IQ tests are good for comparing the ability to complete IQ tests but there are plenty of thick people with high IQs.

The IQ thing may be a red herring, in that none of the things mentioned in the original post are particularly IQ-dependent (no evidence other than years of experience, but high IQs are not necessarily related to good people skills for example – and at the risk of a huge generalisation women with high IQs are more likely to have people skills – from experience only).

One thing that might be right here is the inflexibility of working time – but this is only a problem if we assume the woman will always look after the child (an assumption that seems to be patriarchial to me). If either partner can do so, then this problem is negated.

It might be that women are more generally adverse to careers that make excessive demands on their lives (or at least, are better at having a life beyond their career), which might explain the relative lack of progress in certain high-pressure careers. But rather than campaign for more women in these careers, perhaps we’d be better off wondering why so much importance falls on these industries in the first place.

@31

I tried to post earlier a comment + link that does show a very high correlation between IQ and career success but for some reason it hasn’t appeared here.

Anyway – as CG found, a couple of minutes on Google will turn up loads of stuff saying that IQ is the best predictor of career success. But even if that was not generally true (and it is) it would seem pretty obvious that very high IQ is needed for some elite leadership roles (though not politics).

35. Chaise Guevara Travel Edition

@ Rica

I found data on different IQ bellcurves by gender, not correlation of IQ and success – although i’m sure the latter is true.

36. persephone

Goleman argues that an individual’s success at work is 80 percent dependent on emotional quotient and only 20 percent dependent on intelligence quotient.

And women score highly on EQ. So, if this train of logic is followed this should mean women are more highly represented in positions of power. Or are there other things at play here other than IQ..

37. Chaise Guevara

@ 32 Watchman

“The IQ thing may be a red herring, in that none of the things mentioned in the original post are particularly IQ-dependent”

I agree that a high IQ does not guarantee success, and that many successful people have low IQs, but I’d be stunned if a high IQ did not at least increase your chances of success. It’s an asset, albeit one of many.

“One thing that might be right here is the inflexibility of working time – but this is only a problem if we assume the woman will always look after the child (an assumption that seems to be patriarchial to me).”

Similar issue. Generally it IS the woman who looks after the child, so inflexible working time affects women *as a group* more than men. And it’s not patriarchial to describe reality. More single mothers than single fathers. More housewives than househusbands.

“It might be that women are more generally adverse to careers that make excessive demands on their lives (or at least, are better at having a life beyond their career), which might explain the relative lack of progress in certain high-pressure careers. But rather than campaign for more women in these careers, perhaps we’d be better off wondering why so much importance falls on these industries in the first place.”

Agreed; good point.

38. Chaise Guevara

@ 35

“Goleman argues that an individual’s success at work is 80 percent dependent on emotional quotient and only 20 percent dependent on intelligence quotient.

And women score highly on EQ. So, if this train of logic is followed this should mean women are more highly represented in positions of power. Or are there other things at play here other than IQ…”

Well, first you’d need to show that this Goleman person is actually right. And secondly, obviously there are things at work other than IQ and EQ. Try getting a job as a stevedore if you can’t lift a sack of potatoes over your head, for example.

39. So Much For Subtlety

32. Watchman

The IQ thing may be a red herring, in that none of the things mentioned in the original post are particularly IQ-dependent (no evidence other than years of experience, but high IQs are not necessarily related to good people skills for example – and at the risk of a huge generalisation women with high IQs are more likely to have people skills – from experience only).

You would have to show that good people skills correlates with success too. Steve Jobs was borderline sociopathic. No people skills at all. Yet he achieved a lot. Someone with better people skills would have probably fudged every issue so as not to offend, delayed when people were stressed, felt their pain and so all they would have achieved was mediocrity. People skills might be good for low and middle managers – although a lot of people say women do not do well in such roles – but that is because low and middle managers are mediocre.

It might be that women are more generally adverse to careers that make excessive demands on their lives (or at least, are better at having a life beyond their career), which might explain the relative lack of progress in certain high-pressure careers.

We don’t need to think it might. We know it does. Ask women and they will tell you. Women choose lower demand jobs. Especially those they can do part time.

But rather than campaign for more women in these careers, perhaps we’d be better off wondering why so much importance falls on these industries in the first place.

Well no, we know that. There is no point belabouring the obvious.

Rica

But even if that was not generally true (and it is) it would seem pretty obvious that very high IQ is needed for some elite leadership roles (though not politics).

The smartest man in modern British politics was probably Enoch Powell. Sir Keith Joseph was not dumb either. Which suggests you might have a point. Except I would think what they lacked was the cunning not to appear too smart. Which Bill Clinton has. It doesn’t mean high IQ is not linked to elite political careers. Just that really smart people hide it.

Chaise Guevara

Similar issue. Generally it IS the woman who looks after the child, so inflexible working time affects women *as a group* more than men. And it’s not patriarchial to describe reality. More single mothers than single fathers. More housewives than househusbands.

Sorry but you are ignoring context. Women *choose* to look after children. A lot of women deeply resent it if men try to take over. Inflexible time may or may not be the issue that drives their choice. If not, it is irrelevant. We have more single mothers than single fathers because the legal system is insanely biased against fathers. Even if your ex is a crack-smoking mentally ill thieving prostitute you won’t get custody of your children. This is entirely caused by the lack of any sort of patriarchy. Nothing to do with work either. Again more wives than husbands choose to stay at home full time. As far as we can tell. You need to consider the role of female choice here, not just assume it is a problem with the workplace.

40. Chaise Guevara

@ 38 SMFS

“Sorry but you are ignoring context. Women *choose* to look after children. A lot of women deeply resent it if men try to take over. Inflexible time may or may not be the issue that drives their choice. If not, it is irrelevant. We have more single mothers than single fathers because the legal system is insanely biased against fathers. Even if your ex is a crack-smoking mentally ill thieving prostitute you won’t get custody of your children. This is entirely caused by the lack of any sort of patriarchy. Nothing to do with work either. Again more wives than husbands choose to stay at home full time. As far as we can tell. You need to consider the role of female choice here, not just assume it is a problem with the workplace.”

Mate, I *agree* with most of that, except the “crack-smoking mentally ill thieving prostitute” thing, which I think is at least a slight exaggeration. A lot of it comes down to choice, and most of what doesn’t comes down to a fucked-up approach to child custody. This is why I didn’t (and pretty much never) go on a rant about ‘patriarchy’, which is pretty much the feminist scapegoat for any problem imaginable.

You need to stop reading my posts in Default Anger Mode; it’s a ongoing problem where you blast me for believing things that I don’t in fact believe. Don’t assume I’m unaware of things just because I don’t specifically mention them. I was simply replying to Watchman’s post in its context.

41. persephone

‘ Well, first you’d need to show that this Goleman person is actually right.’

I don’t have to. The orgn’s putting his insight into practice have benefitted
http://www.eiconsortium.org/members/goleman.htm

42. Chaise Guevara

@ 41 persephone

“I don’t have to.”

Well no, you don’t HAVE to, but if you don’t bother providing any evidence for your claims then there’s no reason for anyone else to take them seriously.

“The orgn’s putting his insight into practice have benefitted”

I assume (because it seems most closely related to the statement above) that you’re talking about the following statement – correct me if I’m wrong:

“One mark of the Collaborative—and book’s—impact is that thousands of schools around the world have begun to implement such programs. A meta-analysis of more than 200 of these programs (published by Roger Weissberg and Joe Durlak in Child Development, January, 2011) shows they significantly increase proscocial behavior, decrease antisocial behavior, and boost academic achievement.”

That says absolutely nothing about whether or not a person’s success at work is 80% reliant on EQ and 20% reliant on IQ. And it doesn’t explain why this claim assumes that every factor other than IQ and EQ has no effect whatsoever.

So, yeah. Evidence is needed.


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