Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Work Culture: Up or Down?

By all appearances and by all science men and women are not the same.

Both sexes ought to have equal rights, but having equal rights does not make men and women identical in all ways.

Men and women make different life decisions. As free individuals they have a right to do so. Different decisions lead to different outcomes. If women choose to spend more time with their children they will most likely have different career paths. If men choose to spend more time at work, they will likely have more responsible positions, but will spend less time with their children.

Life is about trade-offs. It is about free individuals choosing the best way to fulfill their responsibilities. Life is not about conforming to an ideology about how the world should or should not be organized.

Unfortunately, too many ideologues believe that if men and women do not have the same career paths, there is something wrong with the workplace. They insist on exercising control over the labor market in order to make it more female friendly.

Since women suffer a disadvantage when they leave work early to care for their children, the ideologues want to force men to do the same thing.

They do not consider the possibility that the men who are thrown off the job at a specific time might not rush home to change diapers. They might go out with the guys for an evening of debauchery.

According to the ideologues, it’s the fault of the work culture. Men work too many hours, thus getting ahead faster than women. But, shouldn’t people who work longer and harder be rewarded for their efforts?

Work culture is the trendy term that feminists use when they try to rationalize their will to change the way men and women work. One imagines that it's a stealth attack on the old Protestant work ethic.

Claire Cain Miller has the story in The New York Times:

But some researchers are now arguing that the real problem is not the lack of family-friendly policies for mothers, but the surge in hours worked by both women and men. And companies are not likely to want to adopt the obvious solution.

The pressure of a round-the-clock work culture — in which people are expected to answer emails at 11 p.m. and take cellphone calls on Sunday morning — is particularly acute in highly skilled, highly paid professional services jobs like law, finance, consulting and accounting.

Offering family-friendly policies is too narrow a solution to the problem, recent research argues, and can have unintended consequences. When women cut back at work to cope with long hours, they end up stunting their careers. And men aren’t necessarily happy to be expected to work extreme hours, either.

How can you force men to work less, without depriving them of their freedom? The authors of  a new study do not have a very good answer.

Professors Robin Ely and Erin Reed want to undermine what they call the culture of overwork, the tendency of highly successful people to work long hours. Apparently, required long hours exclude women from management tracks and from certain job promotions.

Ely and Reed do not seem to consider that women might not want to have the lives that their husbands have, that they might be perfectly happy not being chief executives.

This underlying assumption, unquestioned, undermines and ultimately discredits their work. Like many modern feminists, they fail to respect women's free choices.

Miller explains:

Men and women dealt with the pressure differently. Women were more likely to take advantage of formal flexible work policies, like working part-time, or to move to less demanding positions that didn’t involve serving clients or earning revenue for the company. Decisions like these tended to stall women’s careers.

Men either happily complied, suffered in silence — or simply worked the hours they wanted without asking permission. About a third of them, according to another paper about the same firm by Ms. Reid, would leave to attend their children’s activities while staying in touch on their phones. They also developed more local clients to reduce travel or informally arranged with colleagues to cover for them. Decisions like these tended to get men promoted.

When women tried the same strategy, it usually didn’t work. When a man left at 5 p.m., people at the office assumed he was meeting a client, Ms. Reid said. When a woman left, they assumed she was going home to her children.

Underlying this disparity are deep-seated cultural expectations about how men and women should act. Men are expected to be devoted to their work, and women to their family, as Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist at University of California, San Diego, has described in her research.

For all anyone knows these deep-seated cultural expectations are deep-seated because they correspond and correlate with the nature of the two sexes.

Who would have guessed?

Naturally, feminists are happy to trot out statistics that demonstrate that men who work fewer hours are more productive. If this is true, then the marketplace will quickly find a way to profit from the fact.

If men who work less hours are more productive then a company can be more profitable by forcing men to stop men from working so hard. It will then outcompete those companies that allow men to work very long hours.

Simple solution, don’t you think?

And yet, it’s possible that the extra hours are beneficial and that a man who is primarily focused on his job might just be better executive material than a woman who has chosen to spend more time and energy and concentration bringing up her children.


Sam L. said...

"And yet, it’s possible that the extra hours are beneficial and that a man who is primarily focused on his job might just be better executive material than a woman who has chosen to spend more time and energy and concentration bringing up her children."

Bite your tongue, scourge your back, and wear shirts woven of steel wool, you horrible person, you!


Ares Olympus said...

After yesterday's blog on "cheating wives", those 60hr/week husbands should be sure their wives don't have too much free time.

Working hard for your family is great, until you find out your wife wants a divorce so she can be with a man who wants to spend time with her too. 95% chance of annual fidelity isn't too bad odds for a few years, but over 25 years, that's 0.95^25=27.7%.

oth men and women are more likely to cheat on their spouses the more economically dependent they are on them, according to a new study.

“You would think that people would not want to ‘bite the hand that feeds them’ so to speak, but that is not what my research shows,” says study author Christin L. Munsch, a UConn assistant professor of sociology. “Instead, the findings indicate that people like feeling relatively equal in their relationships. People don’t like to feel dependent on another person.”

According to Munsch, in an average year, there is about a 5 percent chance that women who are completely economically dependent on their husbands will cheat, whereas there is about a 15 percent chance that men who are entirely economically dependent on their wives will have an affair.

David Foster said...

Top jobs..CEO, Division General Manager, law firm Partner, etc....will always require a lot of hours and a lot of interruptions during downtime, and many lower-level but important jobs....Product Line Manager, PR Manager, etc....will sporadically require such intensity...but truth is, a lot of the 60-80 hour weeks in business (and, I suspect, in other kinds of organizations as well) are a reflection of bad organization design and poor delegation skills. Far too little thought is given to coherent organization structures; too often, such thought is replaced by mush about "teams" and "flat organizations" with little foresight as to how specific incarnations of these things will actually work in practice.

I speak as one whose approach to management would be no means be considered of the "creampuff" variety; I'm pretty sure that the phrase "ruthless SOB" has been applied on occasion...

Leo G said...

Way off topic, but my God, I just am ready to go full hermit!


Ares Olympus said...

Leo G, yes way off topic, but the questions intrigue me.

Clearly there are "brain malfunctions" like strokes where a patient disassociates from a part of their body, and we'd not easily suggest this perception failure should be cured by amputation or mutilation.

I don't think gender identity fits within that category. But on the other hand human have apparently willingly participated in all sort of mutilations from surface tatoos, implants to change the shape of a body for women's curves or men's muscles, or like Chinese women's foot smashing, or even male circumcision, originally for tribal identity. All of those might be more an attempt to exaggerate an existing gender identity, rather than reversing a physical gender.

And it does get more complicated when you some small fraction of people born sexually ambiguous, and doctors "choosing" a gender at birth, only to have the child grow up feeling like they were the wrong gender and things making sense when they're told the truth.

All of this can and will make us feel uncomfortable, and some would prefer to consider it a "psychological problem", like the stroke patients confusion, and perhaps it can be "cured" by some sort of process?

And if it makes us uncomfortable, we can at least imagine how uncomfortable it would be to be in such a state of identify confusion, to have the person you see in the mirror as not you, and know your whole life that your culture expects you to be something you're not.

Anyway, I'm 100% against mutilation personally, even against tatoos, but I'm more of a "bird in the hand is worth two in the bush", or something like that, so if "God" created me different inside than outside, I'd consider the ambiguity was intentional, and I'd try to express that inner self without changing my body in a destructive way.

So it makes more sense to me that some feminine-gendered men might want to cross dress, and humans have had such ability for thousands of years, while the idea of using modern surgery knowledge to make your body conform to some external stereotypal expression, it's bizarre and scary for me to imagine.

Really the body-builders implants are the scariest to me, and if they use steriod they're doing their own sexual shrinkages as well. Like how much do you have to hate yourself to do that syntherol crap or whatever?

We are a strange strange race.

priss rules said...

If both sexes should have equal rights, men should sue for the right to have babies, which is denied to them by a 'sexist nature'.

Alas, even Bruce Caitlyn Jenner can't have a baby despite external alterations.