How Abramson's firing could change the way we look at female leadership
Evan Agostini, Associated Press
An article in The Atlantic Friday studies asserting that women are called "pushy" twice as often as men.
The article was another follow-up story to the firing of New York Times editor Jill Abramson, whose departure earlier this month was questioned as possibly sexist, since Abramson had been called "pushy" and "very unpopular."
The paper continues to draw criticism for Abramson's firing. The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America bought a sign outside the Times building Friday that read: "The New York Times: Unfair to Jill Abramson. Definitely unfair to Israel."
Others in the media are still talking about Abramson's firing as a chance to reevaluate the way Americans look at female management and leaders. Some, like Quartz writer Jill Morgenthaler, said "pushy" should be a term to be proud of.
"Women have to prove themselves every day. When a man states bluntly what he thinks, he is praised for being direct. When a woman states bluntly what she thinks, she is called brusque. When a man asks for a raise, he is praised for his assertiveness. When a woman asks for a raise, she is difficult to work with. When a man shares his ideas, he is creative. When a woman does, she is pushy," Morgenthaler wrote. "What the New York Times and parts of society are not acknowledging is that pushy women raise the standards of quality of work."
In another article from The Atlantic, Olga Khazan questioned whether or not American workers are warming to female leadership. A 2011 study Khazan cited found that that employees viewed female managers just as effective as males, but researcher Marianne Cooper pointed out that the women were disliked more often.
"When acting authoritatively, women leaders are disliked much more than men. To be clear, it is not that women are always disliked more than men when they are successful, but that they are often penalized when they behave in ways that violate gender stereotypes,” Cooper wrote in the Harvard Business Review.
A small step for feminism, perhaps, Khazan wrote, but a victory for women nonetheless.
"It should at least be enough to refute any latent sexist claims that we’re better suited to tending the cave fire," Khazan wrote. "And it should definitely help those self-effacing female leaders stand a little taller."
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