The more successful a woman, the less likeable she is. AIBU?

(75 Posts)
Moknicker Mon 11-Mar-13 14:20:58

Heard Sheryl Sandberg say this todayv (radio) and have to say I agree with her. When a woman does a good job - people say well done but you have put people off, been aggressive. Have had this in my career and been told to "smile more".

The more successful a woman gets the less she is liked. Conversely the more successful a man gets, the more other men and women like him - can see this happening with DH.

How do I let my DD grow up with the attitude that she can be extremely successful at whatever she wants but also be liked as a person.

So AIBU - do you think you/ are/ know successful and likeable women?

ChestyLeRoux Mon 11-Mar-13 14:23:13

No I dont think thats true at all. If your a nice person people will like you.

Noodled Mon 11-Mar-13 14:23:25

I interviewed recently for a senior position, two panel members wanted to discount one candidate because they thought her 'a ball breaker'. Ffs. Agreeably she was offered the position after interview.

Moknicker Mon 11-Mar-13 14:26:09

Chesty - it's more to do with the perception of being likeable as opposed to whether you are nice or not.

If a nice man and nice woman are both equally successful, the nice man will be seen as more likeable than the woman, in my view.

LandofTute Mon 11-Mar-13 14:26:40

What I have noticed in my own workplaces is that people (women as much as men) have not liked very confident, self assured women. I'm not that confident and have been liked more, although I have tended to like the more confident women myself. Just something i have noticed in one female dominated and one male dominated workplace, although may not be representative.

MagratOfStolat Mon 11-Mar-13 14:27:26

Well, I hate to break it to you but it's probably true. Women get to great positions because they fight tooth and nail for it, and if that means making the tough choices or going against the grain then it's tough luck. The same could always be said of men, but they don't seem to have the whole "ball-buster" thing following them around.

People are always going to like you for who you are, or hate you for who you are. It's a fact of life, and quite frankly I'm betting half of the people who claim to like a successful person "just the way they are" are lying because they want to be around someone successful.

You aren't going to be loved by everyone, so I think a better thing to teach would be that if people like you the way you are, then great! If not, then that's their problem and not yours - you find out who your true friends are that way.

ChestyLeRoux Mon 11-Mar-13 14:27:53

I dont agree its the same as when some girls say they arent liked as they are too pretty. Its not usually the reason there is something more to it.

Noodled Mon 11-Mar-13 14:27:59

I like your optimism chesty but do not share it. I see the judgements made about successful women as an extreme manifestation of the casual sexism experienced by many women at work either personally or institutionally.

cleofatra Mon 11-Mar-13 14:28:34

The point is that it's not about successful women but more about trumpet blowing: "look, Im successful" women.
There are so many graceful successful women who are well liked.

Snoopingforsoup Mon 11-Mar-13 14:29:43

I do think some people, male or female are likely to succeed as a result of being ruthless and not caring if people like them in order to get where they want to be.
These are the ones who are shit hot at their jobs but lousy people managers in my experience.
I think it's hard to be a great Manager and to be a truly nice person. It's hard not to get irritated when a team are squabbling/power playing or, when you have a lazy git who's carried by everyone else. You have to deal with these situations in a benign way. Underneath, it leaves me gasping!
So I see your point. YANBU.

quesadilla Mon 11-Mar-13 14:32:16

I think that's a massive over-simplification and generally not true. Yes, there are some very ambitious women who have already made it who can afford to get people's backs up but actually I think to be very successful as a woman you have to be very diplomatic and good at making contacts and its very hard to do that without knowing how to rub along with people, how to handle office politics at all. And in my experience women need to be able to do this far better than men. People will generally cut very obviously ambitious men with fewer social skills more slack if they are obviously very talented at what they do. If a woman comes across with a very thrusting, macho front people are likely to feel more jarred by her behaviour even if she's obviously good at what she does.

Actually I have a friend who is very talented at what she does but it hopeless at diplomacy (essentially can't accept any kind of authority from anyone and is the opposite of a team player) and she has not moved beyond a certain point in her career mainly for this reason (IMHO). If she were a man I think people would have been far more indulgent towards her. You can be a complete arse as a man and get away with being an "enfant terrible"; people just shrug and say "yes but he's so good at it" (see Jeremy Paxman/Quentin Tarantino/Piers Morgan/Liam Gallagher). How many women do you know who can get away with this sort of behaviour in very public roles? Not many...

tumbletumble Mon 11-Mar-13 14:33:56


I was successful in my career and was promoted quickly compared to my peer group. I'm currently a SAHM (hoping to return to work when my youngest starts school) and I'm a school governor, treasurer of the PTA etc.

Now I'm not going to say that everyone likes me grin but I have loads of friends, a good relationship with my family and a lovely DH.

The thing is that I have enough confidence in my abilities so I don't need to show off about them. People probably wouldn't realise I was successful if they were just chatting to me.

Sorry if that sounds smug. It's hard to get the words right.

catgirl1976 Mon 11-Mar-13 14:35:33


I've been sucessful in my career and I am bloody lovely smile

But I have been told I'd get further if I was "harder" or less pleasant, so I can see your point a bit

Springdiva Mon 11-Mar-13 14:35:43

If you are male and get to the top you can be seen as tough but patriarchal, which has a caring and protective side to it, if you are femle and get to the top you are not seen as matriarchal as that has a loving side to it which doesn't fit with business. So you are seen as, maybe, domineering rather than patriarchal which is less likeable.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Mon 11-Mar-13 14:37:14

I know a fair few very successful career women and they are very well liked by their peers, and have lots of friends. I see how the stereotyped 'successful woman' would be unlikeable - basically Katie Hopkins! - but I don't really know many real life women who genuinely fit that stereotype.

Trills Mon 11-Mar-13 14:37:25

YANBU to say that the same behaviour will be interpreted differently in men and women.

A woman might be seen as "too aggressive" or "pushy" where a man would be seen as "assertive" or "a natural leader".

HorribleMother Mon 11-Mar-13 14:39:20

I suppose Xenia may be a case in point

Nope, don't see it IRL. Can't see that successful people (of either gender) are more dislikable than folk in menial jobs or scattered dysfunctional lives. Or any gradient of trade-offs in-between along those lines happening at any point.

tumbletumble Mon 11-Mar-13 14:40:25

The advice I would give to your DD, OP, if she is bright but not pushy, is to choose a career when the results speak for themselves and your personality is of secondary importance.

So maybe a career requiring a post graduate qualification or similar, and not something like sales or marketing.

MammaTJ Mon 11-Mar-13 14:40:56

My boss is successful and extremely likable. YABU.

noddyholder Mon 11-Mar-13 14:41:20

Terrible attitude yabu

SashaSashays Mon 11-Mar-13 14:47:16

Something I've noticed is lots of successful women come with a derogatory personal remark.

Such as, Louise is the new director of x department, impressive as she's only young but of course no children or serious relationships. Jenny won the x contract, she worked so hard, but then i guess she had all that free time what with not having any friends, she' such a bitch you know. Sarah just got promoted, lucky girl.....she's such a slag though.

Whereas men get Mark is the new director of x department, impressive as he's only young. James won the x contract, he worked so hard. Steve just got promoted, lucky guy.

All these are pretty much verbatim experiences I've had at work, I think women are under a lot more scrutiny and criticism, lots of characteristics required to succeed are often penalised in women. John is assertive but Mary is a bossy bitch.

SashaSashays Mon 11-Mar-13 14:48:19

X post with Trills.

Gauri Mon 11-Mar-13 15:00:53

Tumble tumble, every career now needs personalities that can:
1. Play the politics but to be seen to be doing so.
2. Not come across aggressive if she is a women

It is not not in sales and marketing ones personality is judged.

Moknicker Mon 11-Mar-13 15:24:19

There was a study which asked respondents to read a story about a successful manager. The stories were identical, but some of the respondents read about manager Howard, while others read about manager Heidi. Surprisingly, people responded much more positively to Howard, and were more willing to consider working for him than they were for Heidi.

This is the sort of thing I am talking about - not bitchy ball breaking women who have made it to the top but normal women who are successful but find that as they climb the pole, they - the same normal likeable people become less likeable.

Tumble - Im hard pressed to think of a career apart from from being a writer like JD Salinger where my DD will not have to interact with other people and have her personality come into play.

Cleaofatra The point is that it's not about successful women but more about trumpet blowing: "look, Im successful" women.

IRL most successful women dont trumpet blow at all but are like Tumble - very self deprecating and dont talk about it. In fact, it is successful men who trumpet blow.

And anyway - if a woman is successful when on earth cant she say so without being seen to be boasty?

HecateWhoopass Mon 11-Mar-13 15:28:43

I think it's nothing to do with the woman and that study shows it!

People were given the same information, but the gender of the person in the story made a difference to them. They liked the man more. For no reason.

I don't think women at the top are less likeable.

I think people like women at the top less...

Trills Mon 11-Mar-13 15:30:01

A woman "blows her own trumpet", a man is "confident and proud of his achievement".

Moknicker Mon 11-Mar-13 15:30:09

Hecate ^I don't think women at the top are less likeable.

I think people like women at the top less... ^

Good point - well made smile

Trills Mon 11-Mar-13 15:32:03

Maybe the title should be "the more successful a woman is the less likeable she is considered"

Absy Mon 11-Mar-13 15:41:52

I don't think this is necessarily true.

1. Just because you're successful doesn't mean that you're likable - there were many reports that Steve Jobs was a complete arse but I think men (in general) are less likely to have that be their one feature that's highlighted than woman. Also, sometimes to be successful means that you're liked less - you have to make difficult/unpopular choices which will make you unpopular which leads to ...
2. That generally woman are expected to be more friendly/nice/people pleasey than men. And so if they're alienating people (for legitimate reasons or not) it's viewed as "un-feminine" or some other such rubbish.

And yes, the double standards - if a woman stands her ground she's "pushy, difficult and bossy", if a man does it he's "strong, forthright"

However, I have worked with/met/gone to talks by some very successful women who are really lovely and excellent at their jobs, e.g. Lady Judge, Baroness Kennedy (haven't worked with them, but went to talks by them). Also, generally speaking, women are less arrogant/boastful about their successes, which is refreshing.

StephaniePowers Mon 11-Mar-13 15:46:30

Successful people are busy, and very busy people are often not liked, simply because they don't 'give out' enough friendliness - they haven't the time.

I think that's doubly true for women, who are most likely and not in all cases going to be also managing domestic shit as well.

Trills Mon 11-Mar-13 15:49:10

Good point Absy - being "likeable" is seen as more essential in a woman than in a man, so if a woman rates a C in likeability (I'm thinking ABCDE here) she is seen as not likeable enough, whereas a man rating a C would be seen as having a normal/acceptable level of likeability.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Mon 11-Mar-13 15:52:52

All part and parcel of the importance of being nice for women.

Springdiva Mon 11-Mar-13 15:54:26

So is it societal influences or is it human nature which result in our attitudes to senior women.

I think it is probably a combination.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Mar-13 15:58:12

I think its how you define successful. You don't have to be employed or in business to be successful.
We are all successful in many things in life, people like us if we are nice.

RocknRollNerd Mon 11-Mar-13 16:17:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 11-Mar-13 16:33:01

I hate to say it, but I think it's true. The vast majority of women I know personally that are very successful in professional careers (I'm thinking of doctors, lawyers, high grade managers) are not very likeable. I often like them, as do enough other people, but all but one of the 15 or so women I am thinking of have other people we both know that don't like them.

I'm not sure that its that people don't like women at the top, because I am not thinking of people I know through their jobs.

Tryharder Mon 11-Mar-13 19:12:15

I know a lot of very successful and lovely women. This isnt true at all. I hate attitudes like this. A man is allowed to be successful and a good guy but 'we' as a society can only stomach the concept of a successful woman if we can bitch about her personality.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Mar-13 19:21:23

It has honestly never crossed my mind to wonder if people find me likeable or not. Effective, efficient, a good motivator and leader, creative - all these things have been on my job description before, but until 'have people like you' is, it's not something I'm bothered about.

poorchurchmouse Mon 11-Mar-13 19:35:23

YABU for the reasons other posters have given - qualities that are seen as positive in a man are seen as negative in a woman.

Though I have to say it was very liberating professionally when I realised in my mid-thirties that it didn't actually matter whether people liked me or not. I am nice and reasonable to deal with at work - I don't do the alpha behaviour nonsense - but I don't give a stuff whether colleagues positively like me personally or not.

cleofatra Mon 11-Mar-13 19:36:18

I don't agree. In my workplace, both men and women are considered to be trumpet blowers . Or glory hunters. Maybe it's the culture of the place and I acknowledge thats not the same in all worplaces.

My point is that it is often these insecure women who make a bad name for the quiet and strongly successful majority. Like a bad caricature.

Wookiee101 Mon 11-Mar-13 19:37:25

I definitely think that there is a stereotype of a "ball buster" that gets touted when a successful woman is in charge and it pisses me off.

I think it all falls to the fact that it is not considered feminine to be assertive, confident and successful in what we do. We are constantly told that woman are the facilitators (eg receptionist, PA, administrators) for the men to go about their important business of running the companies and departments within them so when a woman rises through the ranks and does well in management she is an abnormality and can't possibly be a nice person or likeable because she thinks she better than all the other women and men.

It seems incredible that we even have to talk about this in 2013 as it should be much more commonplace to see woman in positions of power and applauding their success, but short of a major shift in how women are perceived and valued, I think we'll be talking about it for many years to come.

wordfactory Mon 11-Mar-13 19:45:59

As soon as women display qualities that will make them successful, they are seen as stepping out of gender recognised roles.

People find that uncomfortable.

Too bad.

BlueSkySunnyDay Mon 11-Mar-13 19:46:53

Having worked for both I can say hand on heart I would rather work for a man than a woman as I find women mangers far less understanding, more likely to take credit for work I have done rather than give me credit and just plain hard work.

You kind of imagine that a woman who is successful must be really together and confident but the ones I worked for have been some of the most needy insecure people I have known.

cleofatra Mon 11-Mar-13 19:47:42

I agree bluesky.
I would rather work for a man and have had the pleasure of both in many jobs.

wordfactory Mon 11-Mar-13 19:48:28

And op, I would tell your DD what I tell my DD.

If she is super successful, some people, male and female, will criticise her. Providing she acts with what she considers to be integrity, she should ignore it.

Fillyjonk75 Mon 11-Mar-13 19:58:05

Why just confine it to women? And what do you mean by "successful"?

I define success as achieving contentment and also helping to facilitate contentment for those around you. Being well liked and respected. Being a good person and still trying to be better. Fulfilling your potential.

Nothing to do with money, status or "getting to the top" in my book.

I would agree that some people who do get to the top in business, politics, sport even are not very pleasant as individuals. But then that doesn't necessarily make them "successful", in my mind.

Fillyjonk75 Mon 11-Mar-13 20:03:11

I also think that women still get criticised for things that men don't. By other women as well. Being outspoken, forthright and opinionated, being determined and dogmatic, for example. DD1's headteacher is a case in point. People sometimes find her aloof or impersonal, or criticise her "people skills". I just don't think that sort of thing would get the same level of comment if she were male. She is really bloody excellent but often if women are not "female" enough - i.e. don't have traditional female qualities they get absolutely panned. Actually in some ways the same goes for men if they are not perceived to be "masculine" enough.

aldiwhore Mon 11-Mar-13 20:06:11

I can go only go experience. I'm not very 'successful' from a career ladder point of view and I'm rather nice. I hope.

One of my closest mates has a senior management role in a huge corporation and is lovely.

Another of my close mates is also very successful and a right uptight biatch.

Another hasn't got any career aspirations whatsoever and is a genuine delight.

Another is a twat.

I could go on... YABU (based on my own experiences) (and yes, I still like my twat friend and the uptight one)

sherazade Mon 11-Mar-13 20:06:40

I'm considered sccessful and generally don't 'have time for people'. I have so much going on in my head that I get irritated by people even trying to make conversation with me sometimes.

My children come first. Career next. I spend time in the gym. No time for anything/anyone else except mumsnet for respite

Moknicker Mon 11-Mar-13 20:25:10

Filly - Why confine it to women?

Because the effect seems to be gender based i.e. when a man is successful, he tends to be more liked while success is inversely correlated with likeability for women.

You are right that success has a variety of meanings depending on context, however for the purposes of this thread, lets define it in the traditional way i.e. ability to have power and influence far above norms, increased status and/or money.

Bluesky - I know a lot of male bosses who that description would fit to a tee.

Aldi - Im sure even very successful women have close friends and family who love them. However, what Im talking about is perceptions among a wider audience ie. most of the rest of the world who do not have the time/ ability/ inclination to find out that they are lovely people (or not as the case might be).

foslady Mon 11-Mar-13 20:26:26

I know where you're coming from, but it hasn't been the case for me. Last two CEO's of the firms I worked for was/is female and bother are lovely ladies, genuinely concerned about their staff. One of my friends is Factory Manager at a big food production site - couldn't break a ball with dynamite!!!! (and we met through work, I left, she rightfully progressed)

foslady Mon 11-Mar-13 20:27:05

bother - both - D'oh!!!!

momb Mon 11-Mar-13 20:32:44

I really hope this isn't true. I have a great job that I love, and pays enough to support our family. I have friends. I like to think that I get on with people.
Captain Paranoia on my shoulder.....

thegraduand Mon 11-Mar-13 20:38:21

i would like to think I'm a successful woman, and have lots of friends who are. I also work with men and women in senior management. One of things they have in common is they don't tend to suffer fools. However, in a man this seems to make them a strong leader, in women it makes them a bitch. But I would like to think I'm likeable, I have friends, and I'm leaving my organisation soon, and my colleagues have all been telling me how much they will miss me.

My best managers have both been women, my current manager is truly dreadful and he's man.

BlingLoving Mon 11-Mar-13 21:42:58

Whoever made the point up thread that there's always a negative associated with successful women is absolutely true. There's always a rider when talking about tho women - like they made it in spite of their negative aspects while the same personality traits in men aren't even noticed.

This kind of thing really pisses me off. I have pre-ordered sheryl sandberg's book because I think she has a very clear view of sexism in a certain kind of work environment,

ArmyOfPenguins Mon 11-Mar-13 22:21:49

I don't think it's just 'successful' women who are liked less than 'successful' men. I think women are generally less liked.

Single parents on benefits might not be considered 'successful'. Who gets the worse press? The single dads? Don't think so.

ArmyOfPenguins Mon 11-Mar-13 22:28:09

I remember seeing a man on a barstool holding his baby, and people were remarking on how cute it all was.
A woman sitting at the bar holding her baby would have had a somewhat different response.
Sorry to slightly derail, but it seems to me people find any excuse to like a man, and any excuse not to like a woman behaving in exactly the same way.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Mar-13 23:02:13

Ha! Exactly Army can you imagine the thread? 'AIBU to be judgy pants about this woman who took her baby into a bar? What was she thinking? Could she not wait till the child was at uni before having an alcoholic beverage???


ArmyOfPenguins Mon 11-Mar-13 23:42:55

Even rapists like Polanski are let off the hook a bit if they're good at something. Imagine a female film director being convicted of a sex crime: she'd never work again (and would still be imprisoned).

What's with the low expectations of men in their so-called private lives?

LittleChickpea Tue 12-Mar-13 02:27:06

I agree with this. The more successful you are the less people like you. It's strange, people you had really good relationships with change as you progress. I have experienced this. In some cases people actively want you to fail. I have never really understood why this occurs. Not sure if it's to do with people's competitive nature, the fact most successful people generally do not try and please everyone (which can be perceived in the wrong way), its all about achieving your goal/objective etc. or what............

I have heard/seen people bitch about successful people and I have had it happen to me. The best adivce I was given by a really nice and very successful female business leader was "You just have to grow a thick skin, ignore it and keep working hard... Thinking, worrying and allowing that sort of playground negativity into any aspect of your life will only hold you back"

nooka Tue 12-Mar-13 03:10:10

Whilst I am sure that it is generally true that there are double standards for men and women at the top, this really isn't an attitude I've come across personally. I think I must have worked in pretty supportive workplaces, because I've never heard the senior women being described in a way that I considered derogatory. Although I've always been fairly forthright about not wanting to hear unkind gossiping (very unprofessional IMO) so perhaps it went on around me and I didn't really notice.

My dd is a bit of a people pleaser, and we have been teaching her not to care so much about what other people think. ds on the other hand can be totally oblivious (or quite enjoy annoying other people) so we have tried to teach him to at least appear to be kinder. It is very useful to be able to be diplomatic, especially early in your career.

melbie Tue 12-Mar-13 03:40:30

I have not come across this at work but again maybe it is just where I work. Some of the female bosses I work with are the most awe inspiring women- I think because as well as their achievements they love their jobs, are all strong and confident and get things done but are really really nice and I would be so happy if in a few years I was even half the person any one of them is. They have all had to put so much work in to get where they are and I admire them so much. But the same is true for most of my male bosses. I think it is just that I have never worked with quite such high achieving women who are essentially models of how I would like to be! Even all the bosses appear to admire each other and will happily admit it- not in a jealous way just in a nice way.

Funny I have never thought about it. But maybe I am just really lucky!

FasterStronger Tue 12-Mar-13 08:39:55

if a successful man is not very nice, he is just a successful man who is not very nice. He is not seen as an indicator that successful men are not very nice.

if a successful woman is not very nice, she is seen as an indicator that successful women are not very nice.

its just double standards.

the other bullshit is that nice and unsuccessful (in job/financial terms) go hand in hand.

in both cases, people gladly believe what they would were true.

Gauri Tue 12-Mar-13 13:32:20

The problem with what a lot of posters have pointed out is that it makes a women's life that much more difficult, to be successful in a career.

I have had this all through my career. Every review process. I believe I am great at what I do and they also admit that. However, every review it's the same old... Be less aggressive... I am being assertive not aggressive.

I get things done. I am given generally the tougher jobs...

It's a mans world but the women don't support other women either...which doubly exacerbates the stereotype...

Moknicker Tue 12-Mar-13 13:36:01

Just realised I have phrased the OPost very very badly. It should read

"*The more successful a woman is, the less likeable she is perceived to be*

Big difference of course.

Re my original post - of course IABU!! smile

How can I get this glaring example of my idiocy deleted?

Bunfags Tue 12-Mar-13 15:24:05

I've found that people who get to the top in business tend to be selfish and materialistic, regardless of gender. They have got to that position because they have a ruthless streak and are self orientated. It has nothing to do with what's between their legs.

However, ime, female bosses have been nicer to their employees than male ones.

FasterStronger Tue 12-Mar-13 15:59:15

but you can frame it in a different way - I could say people who don't progress are least able to cope with their own jobs and lives so are selfish in a different way.

whereas most people who progress careerwise have to learn taking people with them.

Fillyjonk75 Tue 12-Mar-13 18:09:18

I think women are generally less liked.


poorchurchmouse Tue 12-Mar-13 18:38:19

Part of the trouble is that high profile women are seen as "representative" in a way that men aren't. Just had a spat with my boss this morning because he said of someone (who is perfectly likeable but a nincompoop) that she is a bad advert for women in flagship roles. I nearly lost it but managed to point out calmly that he would never say that of a man who happened to be a nincompoop in a senior job.

I find it very hard where I work that I'm so often the only woman in the room, and therefore if I screw up I'm making life harder for women who come after me. it's a kind of pressure that just wouldn't be there if I were a man.

Bunfags Tue 12-Mar-13 23:41:32

"but you can frame it in a different way - I could say people who don't progress are least able to cope with their own jobs and lives so are selfish in a different way.

whereas most people who progress careerwise have to learn taking people with them. "

It depends on the careers involved. What do some companies do for the greater good of the world? They do nothing at all, apart from for their owners. Some people may feel that they are best off out of a scenario like that!

Also, do the chiefs not need the Indians? Without them, people would be buggered all round.

I've always disliked my male bosses far more than the female ones.

greencolorpack Tue 12-Mar-13 23:49:58

I found this completely true when I worked for Pampered Chef. The people who are good at it give seminars telling other women to "act like its a lot more difficult than it is" so people will warm to how cute and ditzy and useless they are. Levels of disingenuous bullshit through the roof. It did my head in. And everyone hated and gossiped about the very successful women. So the message comes loud and clear, be good at sales and make loads of money and everyone will hate you with a passion, be useless make hardly any sales, everyone loves you. Stupid stupid business model.

Gauri Wed 13-Mar-13 12:40:58

But this debate is not only about sales. I think you will find this in banking, baking, broadcasting, and any other business, (even if it does not begin with b)...

The question is, how do we turn this around?

Springdiva Thu 14-Mar-13 15:05:27

I sometimes feel that people in general are more demanding (as far as behaviour is concerned) with little girls than little boys.

I know of lots of little boys who are treated as the most perfect thing to walk on God's earth by family /GPs but fewer girls.

Am I wrong there?

Are females more wiley ?sp and less likeable?

HazleNutt Thu 14-Mar-13 16:49:48

It must have been a good 15 years ago now, but I still remember when I first realised how differently men and women, doing the same thing, are preceived.

A male and a female boss had a somewhat heated and public disagreement. One was not behaving in any way worse than the other. My colleagues commented later about him "Well, he has this really strong personality, but it's good that he always stands up for what he believes is right!". About her: "Well that was certainly unprofessional! Women, they are just not cut out for such roles!"

So - sorry OP, but if your DD is successful then she might be generally liked, but she will also be called a ballbreaker and aggressive where her male peers would just be called strong leaders.

(I'm successful. I think I'm generally nice and fair, but I'm sure some people disagree and believe that as a woman, I should be softer and more maternal. Or something. I'm not losing any sleep over it.)

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 14-Mar-13 16:55:39

I think women care more whether they are liked, or not. Although, personally I don't care if people at work like me. As long as they fear me. wink

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