Women Business Leaders
Jeff Wuorio’s 4 Ways Businesswomen Can Combat Bias discusses ways to fight detrimental views on female company representatives. Although it may be needed for a small company to fight these preconceptions through deception as Gini Dietrich of Arment Dietrich does, making a fictitious male entity the leader of a company that is headed by a woman simply reproduces discrimination against women in business interaction. Living in a time where widespread lack of progressive thinking makes notions of a female US president remarkable is unfortunate. Dietrich’s actions support the status quo. If potential clients are sensitive to doing business with a female business leader, then the performance of the business leader should be used to steer the prospect away from their preconceptions and persuade prospects into becoming clients. Supporting and increasing the success of businesses that discriminate against female business leaders helps discrimination persist in business settings. Female business leaders should use the talented knowledge workers that they have accumulated to help, through their business’s services, companies that are more interested in becoming more profitable and less fixated on extending sexual discrimination.
December 21st, 2005 at 3:18 pm
As a woman in a field dominated by middle-aged white men, I sympathize with Dietrich’s decision. I’m an attorney and often get mistaken for a paralegal or an “assistant” by clients because I’m a 20-something woman. Sometimes to get something done by the client, it’s not enough to say that I think it should be done – it has to be “Joe” or “Brad,” the partner on the case, thinks it should be done. But after awhile with this ruse, the clients start to trust me, and I’d like to think that they’ve learned a lesson about women attorneys in general rather than one specific to just me. Dietrich is doing the same thing, only without the benefit of an actual partner to name, she created one. It just shows the creative spirit that women have relied on for decades in trying to get a foot in the door in the business world. It’s unfortunate that such a ruse is necessary, but I hardly think she can be blamed for that.