January 28th, 2004


Why Women Don't Succeed In Business [l]

Heh, hopefully that'll get some attention. But that's basically what the discussion is about.

An interesting article on essentially that topic is up on FastCompany:

Written by one of their senior writers (a woman), it asks why there are so few women in top executive positions, and wonders if perhaps some of it isn't - for better or worse - by their own choice.

Where Are the Women?

By now, plenty were supposed to be in the corner offices. It's not working out that way. In many fields, men still rule, while women often choose more nuanced paths that keep them from reaching the top. But who are the real winners?

By: Linda Tischler

Brenda Barnes knows what it takes to hold a top job in a highly competitive company. As president and chief executive of the North American arm of PepsiCo, a place famous for its driven culture, she set a fast pace. Rising at 3:30 a.m., she would blitz through a few hours of work before waking her three children at 7 a.m., then dash off to the office, where she'd grind through an 11- or 12-hour day crammed with meetings, conference calls, and strategy sessions. Then it was home for dinner and bedtime stories before finishing up with phone calls or email before falling into bed. Three nights a week, she was on the road. Seven times, she relocated when the company wanted her in another office. For eight years, she and her husband lived in separate cities, trying valiantly to juggle both job demands and those of marriage and family. And all the effort was paying off: Barnes was widely considered a real contender for the top job at PepsiCo when CEO Roger Enrico retired. But in September 1997, at 43, she suddenly stepped down when the toll of the job began, in her mind, to outstrip its rewards.
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I'm very curious to hear what you think - both of the article and the concepts in general. I've had discussions with some people about similar things before - one concept being that men tend to be more narrow-focused, one-track-minded, and women more balanced in their pursuit of many varied activities. Each side has their positive and negative aspects, and of course it's all just a bunch of generalizations - nothing describes all women or all men. But beyond that, there are the seeds for some interesting discussions here. So... dive in!
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