Monday, May 12, 2008

If Women Were To Rule The World...

Hillary Clinton is still in the running for USA presidency even though she may not be the Democrat candidate after all. If she ever makes it to the White House, it will be a historical moment.

USA is the most powerful country on planet earth, well, even as proxy to the Israel and with a woman as its president, USA may have different styles of administration. Her husband, the former president will be the first husband....well, not sure what to call Bill.

What about DS Dr. Azizah? Will she be the next PM of Malaysia? Same situation for DSAI, first husband....nothing is impossible!

In today's Gulf News, there is a good article.

What would it be like if women ruled the world?
Over the past 10 days, the question has been put by newspapers to all sorts of people.

The question was prompted by the extraordinary photo of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's new Cabinet in Spain, which showed the prime minister surrounded by nine women.

They were not just any old women, but glamorous, pregnant, long-haired, elegant, proper women. So in a Spanish-style brave new world entirely run by pregnant women in floaty tops inspecting the troops in Afghanistan, what would it really be like?

We all think we know the answer to this question. But in truth we don't have the foggiest idea what life would be like if women ran the show. So far we have only isolated, untypical examples and no control experiments.

No big companies are entirely run by women. Some charities are entirely run by women but, then, the sort of women who go into charities aren't representative.

The only other professions that are predominantly female - hairdressing and nursing - are almost as hierarchical as the army, but they aren't representative either.

Individual examples seem to knock the idea of the caring, sharing team player on the head. Think Boudicca, Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher, Carly Fiorina. But they are four women, and four women out of a global sample of many billions are not statistically significant.

An article in the spring issue of London Business School's journal argues that there is little evidence to support our favourite female stereotypes. For a start, it says 91 per cent of women don't particularly like pink - a fact that should be pointed out to Silvio Berlusconi, who complained that the Spanish Cabinet was "too pink".

Even the stereotype that women managers tend to be interested in childcare and flexible working turns out to be incorrect.

Fewer than half of women team leaders in the UK have children, whereas 96 per cent of male team leaders do. Stereotypes concerning differences in ability also turn out to be unfounded.

There are some differences in spatial awareness, but the article says these can be offset by sitting a woman down at a computer for a 10-hour stint playing computer games.

The only difference that the author, Elisabeth Kelan, is prepared to countenance is the way women explain their success. If you talk to a man and a woman doing identical jobs, the woman is likely to talk about luck and coincidence. The man will congratulate himself on his skill.

Does this mean a world run by women might be nicer? On the contrary: everyone would be endlessly having to shore up each other's flagging confidence and say that no, your back does not look big in that. There would be much anti-boasting, with everyone competing to run herself down. One might quickly feel nostalgic for the vain strutting of the male leaders.

If women were in charge, they would probably snap out of the hopeless-me act. But there is an even more tiresome act that I don't think women can snap out of. And that is complexity.

Men are emotionally transparent and easy to please in fairly reliable ways. Women are not. My guess is that the main difference if women were in charge is that office politics would be more subtle, and far more lethal.

Apart from this, the only difference I will admit is that the small talk at business lunches might indeed be more botox than baseball.

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