Fairy Tales

This article about female roles in Hollywood really intrigued me. It's an issue I see that doesn't get much coverage. I'm not talking about the dearth of female directors, etc. but how our work/our jobs/our careers can reflect our unfinished business from childhood - much like intimate relationships can. I didn't have a male role model/father figure growing up and I'm learning more and more how that experience shaped me. Sneak peek: I have a lot of qualities that are man-like. To wit: a take charge attitude, competitiveness, and a fair amount of emotional suppression.  Thankfully not my hands! They are pretty lady-like.

The Female Olympics

By Carina Chocano, NYTimes Magazine: "One way to think about the 'Real Housewives' shows is as a kind of perverse, televised postfeminist-feminine-status Olympics. Here’s how it works: A group of highly competitive, thoroughly confused women are pitted against one another in five events: wealth, youth, beauty/body, husband and glamour career. In order to participate, the housewives must qualify in at least three of these categories. They need not have all of them in order to win, but it helps. Some categories trump others. For instance, wealth trumps beauty, and husband trumps glamour job. Kids-plus-husband trumps job, too — especially if the process of acquiring them leads to a show of one’s own. Every show features at least one aggressive instigator whose job it is to ratchet up the jealousy and paranoia and keep the interpersonal conflicts coming. All you really have to do to be a real housewife is take pride in your privilege, your leisure, your profligacy and your willingness to amplify the melodrama at every possible opportunity. You can’t win unless somebody else loses. "

Why the Voice You Hear is Female

Ever wonder why most automated voices are female? Even that of Apple's Siri? This Atlantic article does a great job of breaking down some largely unacknowledged biases. From the article:

"In 1987, people didn't rely on their devices the way we do today. They didn't trust them as much. Apple needed to build that trust and wanted its then-imaginary personal assistant to project an air of competence. Natural choice? Manly avatar. But as people have gained confidence in their gadgets, the question for Apple has shifted from performance to likability. And that brings us to another point Nass makes: marketers have an easier time finding a universally likable female voice than a male one. This dovetails with the way stereotypes work; our prejudices make us dislike hearing a man go about secretarial work."

Triple Threat

A reporter called Nina Godiwalla, the author of Suits: A Woman on Wall Street a triple threat. Female, minority, from lower socio-economic means - oh yeah - I'm all three. The interesting thing about Ms. Godiwalla is her generation seems more awake to what makes them miserable. Or is it that they just feel more entitled? Is that a bad thing? I do applaud it even if it does give me some pause. I don't want to sound like our puritan forefathers, but there really isn't anything that's not going to require hard work and even, dare I say it, a little misery.

I do believe though that far too many young, bright students get funneled into the consulting, investment banking track because, let's face it, it's the fastest, easiest way to either jump start a career with fantastic connections or in my case, pay back student loans.

Which points to the fact that there is virtually no way to get an accredited college education (aka, public stamp of approval) at a top university (aka, network entrance fee) and do what you want career-wise, if your parents are not paying for such stamps (aka, access).

The upshot being, more women will be churning through the ranks of investment banks. But when will they run them?