I really have no idea what we're supposed to do with this:
Victoria Brescoll, a researcher at Yale, made headlines this August with her findings that while men gain stature and clout by expressing anger, women who express it are seen as being out of control, and lose stature. Study participants were shown videos of a job interview, after which they were asked to rate the applicant and choose their salary. The videos were identical but for two variables — in some the applicants were male and others female, and the applicant expressed either anger or sadness about having lost an account after a colleague arrived late to an important meeting.
The participants were most impressed with the angry man, followed by the sad woman, then the sad man, and finally, at the bottom of the list, the angry woman. The average salary assigned to the angry man was nearly $38,000 while the angry woman received an average of only $23,000.
When the scenario was tweaked and the applicant went on to expand upon his or her anger — explaining that the co-worker had lied and said he had directions to the meeting — participants were somewhat forgiving, giving women who explained their anger more money than those who had no excuse (but still less money than comparative men).
The article goes on to conclude:
But Professor Glick also concedes that much of this data — like his 2000 study showing that women were penalized more than men when not perceived as being nice or having social skills — gives women absolutely no way to “fight back.” “Most of what we learn shows that the problem is with the perception, not with the woman,” he said, “and that it is not the problem of an individual, it’s a problem of a corporation.”
I agree that it's a problem women can't overcome by themselves, but what are the companies supposed to do? For that matter, how is society supposed to deal with this? Feminism has made a number of strides in the double standard, particularly as regards sexuality. Sure, sexual double standards are still there--I know a lot of men who would not date women who slept with them on the first date, which seems lunatic to me--but they're a hell of a lot milder than they used to be. Who here thinks I'll get fired if I announce that I used to live with a boyfriend?
But have the double standards on anger budged at all? For that matter, women used to be able to slap men who pawed us without permission, so maybe they've gotten worse--we're no longer supposed to be so passive, but if we express an opinion, we'd better be nice and apologetic about it. This is not a very good way to become CEO.