Last month, Claire Zillman wrote an article for Forbe’s titled “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Used This Simple Trick to Cut Down on ‘Manterrupting.’”
Zillman cites a new study of oral arguments from researchers at Northwestern University which “found that as more women join the Supreme Court—there are three now, the most ever—‘the reaction of the male justices and the male [lawyers] has been to increase their interruptions of the female justices.’”
The Supreme Court isn't the only place where manterrupting occurs, of course.
There are many reasons that we believe that diversity efforts in America, while they have provided some benefit, do not go far enough to impact the bottom line of organizations that are competing in a global economy. One area where we see clear evidence of this is in the recruitment efforts of many organizations that are committed, and rightfully so, in creating a diverse workforce.
But, what happens?
Women in leadership positions often find themselves faced with a cognitive conundrum. How to be themselves, and leverage some of the big benefits of effective communication that women tend to demonstrate, while at the same time attempting to break into a culture that is often dominated by more type-A male colleagues.
They may be able to adopt a page from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s playbook.
We spend a lot of time focusing on unconscious bias: the idea that all of us harbor impressions or opinions of the world and those around us that we don’t even realize. The biases may make us less likely to hire a person of color or promote a woman, for instance. Unconscious bias is a form of confirmation bias.
Science Daily offers this definition and description of confirmation bias. Basically, it’s the tendency to seek out or point to information that supports our preconceived notions and ideas. It’s at work when we look for evidence to support a proposal or opinion that we have. It’s at work when we make decisions about who to hire (we generally are swayed to those who are most like us). It’s at work when we choose which media outlets to watch or to use as evidence to support our own beliefs.
Globalization has been in the news a great deal since the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders railed against the destructive side effects of globalization with wide-ranging multilateral trade deals like NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being much derided.
Indeed, Credit Suisse issued a press release earlier this year titled “Getting Over Globalization” in which it predicts a more “multipolar” world order may be emerging. While it’s possible that globalization has passed its peak, at least temporarily, that’s not to say that a global outlook has entirely lost its importance. Companies large to small continue to do much of their business overseas and need globally focused employees to help them stay engaged.
Many observers believe Generation Z is the right fit to fill this need.
Generation Z is on the cusp of making a big impact on the American workforce. According to Pamela Shadrick, writing last year for the ITA group, “While they’re currently only about 2% of the workforce, they are a whopping 24% of the population. But by 2020, Generation Z will make up an estimated 30% of the workforce and 40% of the consumer market.” Employers seeking to acquire the best talent from within this group need to understand what motivates them. And it’s not just a paycheck.
There has been a great deal of discussion on the topic of fake news recently, particularly in the leadup and aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In November 2016, the BBC published a story titled “The Rise and Rise of Fake News.” In December 2016, Steven Rosenbaum wrote an article titled “Why the Fake News Debate Gets it Wrong.” In February 2017, NPR’s All Things Considered aired a piece called, “With ‘Fake News,’ Trump Moves From Alternative Facts to Alternative Language.”
Certainly, fake news is nothing new. There have always been pranksters and charlatans seeking to deceive the masses. What is new, though, is the increasingly diverse sources of media available in the Internet Age.
The generational changing of the guard is a fact of life as old as time. Young replaces old in responsibility, importance, control and culture. Outside of the family, the workplace is perhaps where this is seen most regularly by most people. And the transition is not always smooth. Baby boomers in their time were seen as ushering in a cultural shift. In today’s workplace, the clash of culture between boomers and millennials has been much discussed.
But this time around, some predict that there will be far less of a clash between millennials and the group just starting to enter the workplace: Generation Z.
While we’ve made progress, deeply-seated biases and preconceptions may be holding us back. In a recent article written for the Network of Executive Women or NEW, Rufino Cabang writes, “Stereotypes, social norms and unconscious bias are contributing to a widening gender gap at work, according to a new international study commissioned by Unilever.”