Don’t Call Me Bossy

An excellent post from lawyer Kathleen Wu, a plea to end calling women in leadership roles “bossy,” is here. Both girls and boys call girls “bossy” starting at a pretty early age. We should teach our kids to stop. Wu does a great job of connecting child age bossy-talk to the dislike of women in the work force.

“To summarize the two studies, when women who work in professions traditionally held by men (such as the legal profession) are successful, they are less liked than similarly successful men. Furthermore, those successful women are evaluated more harshly and get fewer “organizational rewards” (bonuses, promotions, raises, etc.) than their male counterparts. What causes this bias? One of the most plausible explanations is that society still tells us that there are women’s roles and men’s roles, and jobs that cater to the supposedly innate characteristics of each gender. Women are nurses, teachers and mommies — all jobs that require some empathy, nurturing and other, “softer” characteristics. Men are cops, high-powered executives and football players — jobs that require more aggression than compassion.”

2 thoughts on “Don’t Call Me Bossy

  1. I’m not sure that telling bossy kids “Don’t worry, you’re just being a leader” is a net help. Doesn’t this sort of thing explain how we got so many people (and nations) to confuse leadership with being domineering?

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