Lisa Belkin of The New York Times explores the research about attitudes toward women in the workplace and confesses that they leave her feeling "deflated."

Belkin cites the recently released Catalyst report, "Damned if You Do, Doomed if You Don’t" (previously discussed here), a survey of 1,231 senior executives from the United States and Europe:

It found that women who act in ways that are consistent with gender stereotypes — defined as focusing "on work relationships" and expressing "concern for other people’s perspectives" — are considered less competent. But if they act in ways that are seen as more "male" — like "act assertively, focus on work task, display ambition" — they are
seen as "too tough" and "unfeminine."

Women can’t win.

In 2006, Catalyst looked at stereotypes across cultures (surveying 935 alumni of the International Institute for Management Development in Switzerland) and found that while the view of an ideal leader varied from place to place — in some regions the ideal leader was a team builder, in others the most valued skill was problem-solving. But whatever was most valued, women were seen as lacking it.

Belkin also discusses research by Joan Williams, who runs the Center for WorkLife Law and is author of the book "Unbending Gender," and studies about women’s negotiation skills,
which WVFC has also discussed.

Plus: The Washington Post looks at the rise of women leaders in South America, and how women in leadership positions are perceived.

Also in the NYT, Nicolai Ouroussoff discusses "Women in Modernism: Making Places in Architecture," a colloquium held last week at the Museum of Modern Art that "sought to take a more positive look at the role women have played in architectural history."

"But whatever optimism the panelists tried to muster about the future, we should all be appalled by the pace of progress," writes Ouroussoff. "A recent study by the Beverly Willis Architecture
Foundation, a sponsor of Thursday night’s panel, underscores the various setbacks women have suffered in their climb through the professional ranks."

Six Iraqi women from the McClatchy Company’s Baghdad news bureau received the International
Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Award on Oct. 23. In today’s Women’s eNews, Dominique Soguel, WeN’s Arabic editor, covers the challenges and dangers they face.

"Through their courageous reporting," writes Soguel, "the award recipients have not only covered the war, they have also uncovered the marginalization of women in parliamentary decision-making, addressed women’s strategies to survive sectarian violence and followed the story
beyond the suicide bomb."

Five of the McClatchy journalists honored with the Courage in Journalism Award — [Huda] Ahmed, [Ardil] Sarhan, Shatha al Awsy, Zaineb Obeid and Alaa Majeed — have had to leave Iraq. Only one award recipient continues to work in Baghdad. Like most of her colleagues, she began working as a translator and then adopted a pseudonym to byline her articles.

Unbeknownst to family and friends back in Baghdad, she traveled to the award ceremonies at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. For her safety, the Washington-based International Women’s Media Foundation asked the press not to publish her picture.

"As a woman, as long as I am not identified as a reporter," she told Women’s eNews, "I am safer on the streets of Baghdad than is any man."

Secretly, she breaks all the glass ceilings. Not only is she the breadwinner in her family, she successfully juggles motherhood with journalism in the most dangerous war zone today.

Read her acceptance speech from the IWMF awards ceremony. The reporters at McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau contribute to a blog at:

Eye on the Ball: Meet Susan Myers, 55, an investment banker-turned-football-coach, who is profiled in today’s USA Today.


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