It is well enough known and generally accepted that women, by a large margin, would rather work for men.
This despite the fact that women have suffered decades of propaganda depicting businessmen as sexual harassers. For all that, when young women are asked their preference, they say that they would rather not work for other women.
It might be that women are naturally competitive with other women for male attention. If so, being the only woman in the room means not having to compete. A woman alone will monopolize the attention and feel that she can pick the best mate. It is hypergamy gone wild.
Even if a woman is not looking for a husband, group dynamics allow her to feel more important and more attractive when she is one of a few women, not one among many women.
It is also be true that older women see young women as competition. Older women fear losing their men to younger, more attractive women. Thus, they try to ensure that their men see fewer of such women.
Now Professor Michelle Duguid has done a study that demonstrates another point that many of us have long suspected. In some conditions older women are less likely to hire younger women. In others they are more willing to do so.
Women are less inclined to hire other women when their own jobs have high prestige. When their jobs lack prestige, they are just as likely to hire other women.
Duguid calls it a value threat. The more women on a job the more the job will lose prestige or value.
A woman who has worked long and hard to rise up the corporate hierarchy has earned prestige. If she pulls other women up the ladder after her, thus increasing the number of women on the job, then her own achievements will lose value.
Achieving in a man’s world, in a world where serious money and power and influence are at stake, confers more prestige than achieving in a woman’s world. The more women in a business or profession the less prestige the job will command.
It might also be that women know that a group with more women will be less efficient and effective than a group that is defined by masculine values.
Women know what it is like to socialize with other women. They know what it is like to work on projects or to attend meetings where most participants are female. If they have any experience with business or even with study groups in school, they probably also know what it is like to work with a group that is predominantly male.
Women might know, better than men do, that women working together do not work as well as men working together.
Again, the local propaganda ministers have been telling everyone that women are more effective leaders and executives than men. They have said that having more women in charge enhances corporate efficiency.
Coupled with the portrayal of corporate men as sexual predators, this cultural meme has been deployed to produce the kind of workplace that feminists would find to be gender equal.
Perhaps, women know better.
Women working together tend to share feelings more than they would when in a world of men. They schmooze more than men do. They seek conversational connections by sharing personal stories more than men do.
In the business world, these characteristically female traits waste valuable time and undermine order and discipline. They are antithetical to the competitive spirit.
Developing a capacity for empathy makes you a weaker competitor. You cannot compete effectively if you feel sorry for the pain you are trying to inflict on your competitor. .
Moreover, once the number of women in a profession reaches a certain point, the profession becomes identified as woman’s work. At that point, it loses prestige. Men start avoiding it, and compensation levels decline.
Over the past few decades this has happened in the psychotherapy industry, and, among others, to the profession of veterinarian.
As it happened, the therapy business has split in two. On the one side you have the more masculine activity of writing prescriptions. This is hard science. It’s pure medical practice.
On the other side are therapists who specialize in care-giving and empathy. They function less as physicians and more as nurses.
Today, psychiatrists often specialize in prescription writing. They have neither the time nor the inclination to converse with their patients. They conduct shortened sessions and charge far more for their time. Theirs is, by far, the most lucrative side of the therapy business.
Psychologists and social workers are now, for the most part, women. They are more nurturing; they emphasize feeling and emotion over strategic thinking and planning. They will feel your pain without telling you what to do to solve the problem that is causing it.
Male psychiatrists tend to offer a cold, hard look at the facts of the case. Women therapists tend to mother their patients.
For all of the propaganda about gender, the evidence continues to suggest that it is anything but a social construct.