ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Good Sexism?

Oh, this sounds fair!!!

It's good to know that my future in business will be affected by these prejudices against males in leadership positions. Oh, and by the way... I had nothing to do with previous injustices against women.

The Workplace: A place for women in boardrooms
By Thomas Fuller International Herald Tribune

PARIS The definition of sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on sex. But is there such a thing as good sexism?

The question came to mind after speaking with Christopher Clarke, the president of a headhunting company who says he believes that women make better executives, a view he has shared with audiences in Australia, Singapore, South America, the United States and his native country, Britain.

Clarke cites studies showing that women are better at performing many things at once, or multitasking, and that they have more sophisticated emotional intelligence, like being able to recognize another person's feelings more accurately than men.

"There's a lot of evidence that says that women are superior in evaluating people, in managing their ego, in calming aggression in others," Clarke said in an interview. "These are precisely the characteristics you need in a modern corporation."

As the president and chief executive of Boyden Global Executive Search, a company that placed 2,245 executives in the past 12 months, Clarke said companies seemed more interested in hiring top-level female executives, especially after the scandals at companies like Enron, Parmalat, Tyco and WorldCom. These companies might have avoided "aggressive types of behavior," Clarke said, if they had had more women as directors.
Clarke published his views in the August newsletter of the National Association of Corporate Directors, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that promotes better governance on corporate boards. In the article, "The XX Factor in the Boardroom: Why Women Make Better Directors," he used sometimes crude evolutionary analogies to argue his point. Traditional corporate executives are like dominant male apes who have to collude with allies to cast rivals out of the troop, he wrote.

"As we share 98 percent of our genes with the great apes," Clarke wrote, "it is no surprise that in today's boardrooms we can observe much similar behavior."

How does he get away with generalizing gender traits this way when seven months ago Lawrence Summers, the president of Harvard University, was criticized for wondering out loud whether women's biological makeup was linked to scientific aptitude? The difference is that Clarke is using biology to show where women excel, not the reverse.

Please don't blame me for previous transgressions... Isn't it great that a progressive institution such as the New York Times.... errr, Int'l Herald Tribune... can come out IN FAVOR of sexism? At least they note the hypocrisy...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler