By Gene Marks (Contributer, Forbes)
I run a small technology firm. We do business with a lot of larger technology companies. I meet plenty of women in senior positions. But it’s rare that I come across a female CEO. Why is that?
Look, I’m not surprised. I’m a guy. I know why.
Reason 1: One Friday night I picked up my teenage son at the movies along with four of his teenage friends. The ride home was filled with laughter, profanity, burps, flatulence and a few head slaps. It took a week for the smell to dissipate.
Reason 2: The next night I picked up my teenage daughter at the movies along with four of her teenage friends. Deathly silence. Apparently, one of the girls’ boyfriends at the theatre had made a remark about another girl’s makeup in the group. He thought she looked…hot. Oh boy. Sides had been chosen. And except for the occasional hissed whisper, no one was talking to each other. It took two weeks for the tension to dissipate.
These are the reasons why most women do not become CEOs.
Ever seen what it’s like to be a woman in today’s workplace? Sure, things have come a long way since the days of Mad Men. I don’t see guys patting their secretaries on the backside or calling them “honey” or “darling.” But the sexism is still there. It’s just more concealed. I’ve been in more than a few meetings where once an attractive female staffer leaves the room one or two of the guys will comment on her hotness. This goes on, believe me. Guys are still checking out the girls in the office. I see their body language noticeably change whenever a pretty female employee enters the room. Words, thoughts and important points are missed because of a new perfume or a low cut blouse.
It works the other way too. The less attractive female employees are also frequently ignored…for the opposite reason. Men are still trying to take women seriously in the workplace. But most haven’t progressed beyond the maturity level of my teenage son and his friends.
» Read the full article at Forbes.
Editor’s note: Most men will also never become CEOs, too.