Gender in the workplace -- more regulation to come?

iBankedUp's picture
iBankedUp - Certified Professional
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Was reading up on some articles in response to another male leader coming under fire for long-ago claims of sexual harassment. With the intensifying of these stories, I'm betting that the response is intensifying too. Of course, most of the respondents are women and also self-proclaimed feminists. I'm mostly talking about this article here.

Alfroditi Pina:

Pina argued that since the workplace environment is so important in determining whether sexual harassment occurs, searching for characteristics that harassers have in common is mostly a distraction. "The thing we can really control is the culture," she said.

Here's the thing, men that try to address these problems get burned by feminists. James D'Amore, the young engineer at Google who wrote a very well-researched paper to explain what he saw as the biological differences between males and females entering tech roles, ended up loosing his job due to false claims on what was in the paper and because of women's levels of comfort. In his report, James used an entire page to give some suggestions on what he thought were some ways in which we could address the workplace differently to account for these biological differences. Still, the paper was rejected.

Now, the feminists seem to be saying the same thing, except it's phrased as the culture needs to change because it's breeding sexual harassers. Maybe the real problem that women don't like is that a man is doing the job of addressing the problem in a rational way. The main issue I have is that this smells like the brewings of policy change, with a feminist tilt but no clear goal. We need to tap the resource that is women, but we shouldn't do it at the cost of quality. Having more women in tech equaling better industry seems like potential for fallacy. I think what D'Amore was also getting at is that it'd be better to focus more on bringing the quality out in the women who are already in tech.

But, do we need fines and regulation to restrict companies from establishing workplace culture or identity, especially when a more open market and freedom to create a company's identity has been part of a winning formula for decades? And what is even the point? Again, what is the real goal in artificially pushing more women into these roles versus taking a more rational approach in simply improving the way we view gender in the workplace?

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Comments (44)

Oct 13, 2017

"The thing we can really control is the culture," she said.

There's a huge issue with that statement. What Utopian culture evolves from increased controls? Controlling culture increases.....wait for it..... the control! Increased controls = greater concentration of power to the agent of the controls. Men are typically leaders in corporate america (key word typically). So the solution is to give the supposed evil doer more control? Or maybe they want a kangaroo court of feminist. So every time you sneeze in the direction of a female co worker you get dragged in front of purple haired cat people. Maybe we should ask someone who actually controls and produces part of US culture.Well, Mr. Weinstein?

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

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Oct 20, 2017

I just think it would be helpful if we had general guidelines on when to slap ass vs high five ... the ambiguity is killing me, and I don't think I am alone. How am I supposed to know who prefers which celebratory gesture. Maybe a name tag could help, but what if I misread it? Such a grey area...

Oct 13, 2017

That's why I started calling everyone "champ". My girlfriend really hated that for some reason. I can't win....

"The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that." Socrates

Oct 13, 2017

There's already plenty of regulation, but you're going to start seeing resources poured into actually pursuing crimes and misconduct.

Oct 16, 2017

I now see why the left was so crazy about electing Hillary. I'm sure she was an important piece to the progress feminists want. I find that scary because either it will change things to elect a woman or it won't. But why are feminists so certain? Afterall, Barack Obama changed little for blacks.

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Oct 19, 2017

I disagree with this statement.

I would agree that Monkey-Man didn't do anything to improve the lives of blacks. In fact I could easily make the opposite case, both as a group and as a member of a population that is now generally worse off.

But, Ol' BArry-O Sama did something very important for blacks. He solidified, legitimized, and mainstreamed black-group identity, then exported it to other groups.

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Oct 20, 2017

Out of curiosity, what would constitute helping the African American community? People like to make the blanket statement that he did nothing because economic and social inequality still exist, but that's unrealistic to expect that to change in under a decade. A whole culture outside of the black community needs to be reformed, and sadly it seems a lot of people aren't ready for that. Here are some achievements and impacts Obama had on black communities in America:

-Unemployment among African Americans dropped in half

-Healthcare expansion helped provide affordable access to healthcare (as well as lower income whites)

-Expanded Pell Grants, making college affordable and accessible

-Small Business Administration loan fees were set to zero, encouraging community banks to lend to small local businesses. Also expanded outreach efforts to the African American communities, notably by forming partnerships with groups such as US Black Chambers Inc. as well as partnering with historically black colleges to promote entrepreneurship.

-Signed the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010, removing the sentencing differences between the sale of powder and crack cocaine (a practice rooted in systemic racism). Also rolled back the use of military equipment by police forces. Also pushed for DoJ to review issues of systemic racism in various police departments (which uncovered some truly disgusting practices rampant in departments).

-Expanded access to re-financing mortgages, see the Home Affordable Modification Program. ALso, Federal Housing Administration reduced its annual mortgage insurance premiums, providing needed financial relief to families lower on the socio-economic scale. Nearly half of African American homeowners use the FHA to get a mortgage.

-The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was set up to prevent mortgage companies, credit card lenders, and payday loan companies from exploiting consumers. It is important to note that historically, minority communities have disproportionately been impacted by fraudulent and exploitative business practices.

-Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit were expanded to financially help low-income families raise children. Nearly two million African American families benefitted from this.

These are just some of the ways the black community in America benefitted from Obama. Now please don't mistake my point and think that I believe everything in America is rosey posey great, it's not. We have a lot of work to do still but to say zero progress has been made is a disservice to the improvements we've achieved so far. These aren't problems that are reversed and forgotten in 8 years and they certainly aren't fixed by one person. Just my two cents, though.

Monkey see. Monkey Doo [Doo].

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Oct 16, 2017

In a sense they already are - HR departments are filled with people who get off on this sort of thing. In the last company I worked with, there were many like this. You had to be very careful what you said around them.

"When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

Best Response
Oct 15, 2017

Maybe I'm off-base here, but it seems like the worst forms of sexual harassment and/or gender discrimination are on Wall Street (literally, NYC), in Silicone Valley (SF Bay area) and in the movie industry (in Los Angeles). See a pattern emerging here?

My father (who died a long time ago now) was WAY older when I was born. He was born in the early 1930's in small-town, nowhere Missouri. I asked my mother the other day about my father's behavior at work in the 1970's and 1980's (she met him at work and they started dating after she moved organizations). She said he was a consumate professional who hired women, promoted women, and never sexually harassed women--he never treated women differently than men.

This is just anecdotal, but I wonder if progressive culture is largely shaped by immoral/amoral people who have really no moral compass beyond what is trending? Perhaps, the epidemic of virtue signaling is the progressive world's subconscious method of masking their degenerate behaviors and morally and ethically repugnant lifestyles. In other words, maybe big city progressive males don't really give a damn about progressive values; perhaps they just virtue signal to make the world think they care when in fact they are the most degenerate people in America.

Oct 16, 2017

There's definitely an issue. I too view liberals as very hypocritical. Conservatives aren't apologetic and it comes off as more upfront and deliberate, which is off putting for a lot people.

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Oct 19, 2017
Dances with Dachshunds:

Maybe I'm off-base here, but it seems like the worst forms of sexual harassment and/or gender discrimination are on Wall Street (literally, NYC), in Silicone Valley (SF Bay area) and in the movie industry (in Los Angeles). See a pattern emerging here?

My father (who died a long time ago now) was WAY older when I was born. He was born in the early 1930's in small-town, nowhere Missouri. I asked my mother the other day about my father's behavior at work in the 1970's and 1980's (she met him at work and they started dating after she moved organizations). She said he was a consumate professional who hired women, promoted women, and never sexually harassed women--he never treated women differently than men.

This is just anecdotal, but I wonder if progressive culture is largely shaped by immoral/amoral people who have really no moral compass beyond what is trending? Perhaps, the epidemic of virtue signaling is the progressive world's subconscious method of masking their degenerate behaviors and morally and ethically repugnant lifestyles. In other words, maybe big city progressive males don't really give a damn about progressive values; perhaps they just virtue signal to make the world think they care when in fact they are the most degenerate people in America.

Yep. There's a reason if Harvey Weinstein is a Clinton donor.

Very much like Ben Affleck who's now under fire for similarly inappropriate behaviour.

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Oct 20, 2017

More of this shit? You just continue to cede intellectual ground and integrity in order to clear space for your all-consuming ideology. It's a shame.

For somebody who constantly criticizes the intellectual caliber of others arguments and perpetually lays claim to some form of scholarly high-ground, this is a surprisingly baseless and tired tirade.

You are much less interested in understanding or even examining reality than you are in concocting partisan narratives that reaffirm and rationalize your ideological values. You have demonstrated this time and time again. This incoherent syllogism is just another in a long series of hastily-drawn blanket assumptions intended to villainize liberals based on the actions of a few individuals.

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Oct 20, 2017

This guy f**ks!!

Monkey see. Monkey Doo [Doo].

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Oct 19, 2017

@iBankedUp
I am completely confused by what your point is. What line are you drawing between sexual harassment and James Damore? He wasn't s.peaking about sexual harassment at all, and as it happens his research was mediocre and incomplete at best (not that it really matters). It seems the entire point of your thread was to say "liberals and feminists suck", but without giving a particular reason.

@iBankedUp
No, the sexual harassment we're hearing about at this particular time is in the movie industry and Silicon Valley (actually haven't heard much about finance recently). It's because these are the places and industries that matter from an economic and cultural perspective. These happen to be the places where the people that create (and own) the media live, so of course their concerns are more magnified than nowhere, East Texas where the grocery store manager is harrassing his 17 year old clerk.

For you to try to tie it to liberalism is, quite frankly, absurd. While we're at it though, i will re-iterate that those liberal places are where our technology, money, and culture are created and managed - you're welcome.

Oct 16, 2017
dazedmonk:

@iBankedUp
I am completely confused by what your point is. What line are you drawing between sexual harassment and James Damore? He wasn't s.peaking about sexual harassment at all, and as it happens his research was mediocre and incomplete at best (not that it really matters). It seems the entire point of your thread was to say "liberals and feminists suck", but without giving a particular reason.

I think the woman quoted in the article was alluding to "male culture". She seems to be giving up on creating a better workplace for a more repressed one, that she hopes will keep men in 'check'.

But my argument is that Damore was hoping to open a discussion to change the culture and help in this area. I support the need for engaging in cultural identity differently. But I am doubtful of these pushes by the left to increase burdens on companies as if it's to say there's no other solution.

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Oct 19, 2017

1) Be a snowflake
2) Use childish and obscene insults
3) Fetishize your lame petro-state economies with their low rates of educational attainment, poor health outcomes, and absurd divorce rates (very biblical)
4) Fail to provide a rebuttal to the actual point of the statement, which I wont bother repeating for those too stupid to understand (@realjackryan

Going over your previous posts, you are such a pathetic ignorant right-wing bore that its actually pretty funny. I'll buy that dildo for you so you can fuck yourself @realjackryan

Oct 19, 2017

A few notes - I suspect most people on WSO will disagree with my viewpoints but I would be happy to engage in civil discussion.

  • The reason women saw Hillary's election as such a potential milestone was not, I believe, a push for policy reform around feminist values, but instead a hope that a female president would normalize the notion for young women that they could become whoever they want to be one day, and that they should not discount themselves or their professional/political ambitions merely due to the fact that they are women. It is difficult for people to believe that they can achieve something where there is absolutely no precedent. Barack Obama showed that black men could be elected to the most powerful position in the world, and even if there was no real policy reform resulting from his presidency around race relations, it made a psychological difference, which is incredibly important.
  • I'd imagine many people scoff at the notion of male entitlement and privilege, and view these constructs as feminist fabrications meant to demonize men and create excuses for their own failures. But I believe that these notions are not grounded in overt, obvious sexism that we can all observe and recognize. Many times, sexism is subconscious or subtle, with our own biases and convictions around gender coloring the way we make professional decisions. For example: special forces. Navy SEALs go through a year-long physical torture regimen thinly disguised as a selection process, at the end of which successful candidates become SEALs. For a long time, women were not allowed to go through the process to become a SEAL, which begs the question - if a woman were able to pass the exact same qualifications tests as a man, why should she be denied the same opportunity? Any answers would most likely be rooted in preconceptions about a woman's biology. But if she's willing to make the same sacrifices as her male counterparts, and she can pull her own weight on the battlefield, there should be no reason why she shouldn't be allowed to serve. Presently, women are now allowed to go through the selection process, but no woman has done so yet. I now agree with the system - as long as women are afforded the same opportunity to try, it can be considered fair even if they have had zero success. The standards should be equal across all demographics, but the outcomes do not need to be 50/50.
  • Changing the workplace to address "biological differences" is inherently sexist, discriminatory and wrong. Women should be treated IDENTICALLY to men, and any differences in outcome between men and women should be traced back to variances in workplace performance, not perceived strengths and weaknesses rooted solely in somebody's gender identity. I have met women with more characteristically "male attributes" than many men, and vice versa. Making these kinds of judgments is inherently sexist, and people should be judged as individuals and not as constituents of a general group.
  • Sexual harassment is a serious crime and should be prosecuted accordingly. Harassment is typically enabled by others (Weinstein's behavior was an open secret. Justin Caldbeck's behavior was an open secret), and hostile behaviors can essentially be "normalized" in a male-dominated environment that is not culture-controlled. For example, corporate outings to strip clubs, sexist jokes in the office, men speaking about how attractive their few female colleagues are. Obviously these behaviors contribute on different levels (I'm NOT advocating for violating constitutional rights) but being cognizant of how these behaviors can escalate into creating a hostile work environment is essential to creating a healthy corporate culture. The issue with culture is that what is "fun" and cool may not be the same as what is productive and ultimately best for the company. It is better for the company to have a culture where women feel safe and appreciated and equal, and where men feel the same way. It would be easier to attract talented women, which is important to building a great company.
  • I do not believe we are on the verge of increased regulation, just a harsher public spotlight on the issue. I think increased publicity is good, as it will make offenders less likely to continue their offensive behaviors, and it will increase the likelihood that the guilty are called out and punished accordingly. I believe it is incredibly brave for these women to come out and speak against people like Weinstein and Caldbeck and Trump, who hold the keys to power and wealth and capital and are often viewed as invincible and above the law, and I hope that allegations continue and that victims are rewarded for their courage.
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Oct 19, 2017

I don't have a problem with a lot of your points, but as your comment was rather long, you opened yourself to nitpicking. In that interest, I'll play Devil's advocate for the moment, starting at the bottom and working my way up.

Firstly, Harvey Weinstein is gross on a lot of levels. I think he looks like he might smell like a room where 8 guys just fucked 9 guys. That said, I'm not entirely certain why people started caring about his transgressions on that particular day. His behavior clearly wasn't a secret. I'm not sure if it was the NY Times piece, or if a specific actress outing him, but the outrage seems a bit odd, as I've seen several stand-ups (courtesy of YouTube) over the past week or so joking about his proclivities years ago. Seth McFarland joked about it at the Oscars. I don't believe people didn't know. And the women who eventually jumped on the bandwagon are not 'courageous.' It takes courage to be first or second or third, not last. Piling on when you deem yourself safe from retribution isn't 'courageous'. Courage requires some element of risk.

Speaking of courage, I think it takes courage for anyone to attempt to become a SEAL. I don't have a problem with women having the same chances to become SEALs as men. I worry that after, say, a decade or so of women not passing the training that someone gets the idea in their head that we should lower our standards. We should not. I make a similar case when it comes to affirmative action. I have a hard time making an intellectual argument that makes sense for race or gender-based affirmative action, but that's a topic for another thread.

As it concerns sexual harassment as a crime. It is not a crime, not as you describe it. I think you meant sexual assault, which is a crime. And while we don't want sexual harassment tolerated at work, criminalizing it is seriously problematic. The problem comes down to perception. What you perceive as 'harassment', another may not. Is simply asking someone on a date harassment? What if you do it twice? What if you drunkenly hit on a coworker at your office Christmas party? What if you hit on a b-school student while at an information session? The company doesn't want the liability associated with policing those behaviors because the standard for firing someone isn't nearly the standard required in civil or especially criminal court. The corresponding 'wrongful termination' lawsuits would be nightmarish.

I once knew a partner at a major London law firm who told me the firm had to take the cameras out of the law library and the stairwells because there were too many amorous encounters on tape, and the firm didn't want the liability. You see, to the firm, it's all risk, no reward, so the firm's best move is to occasionally offer up a sacrificial lamb, but not take this head on.

That said, HR is just one yeast infection away from morphing into Feminazi3000, a terminator sent back in time to nut punch Weinstein awake each morning, so who knows if companies will start to be a bit more aggressive in this area. As it is, large firms already take allegations of harassment extremely seriously. The allegations don't have to be true to really damage someone's career, and I've seen allegations used in spite to harm careers, so I worry about any process that can so negatively impact someone's life without any proof or repercussions to the accuser.

Essentially, you can't prove you didn't do something. If a woman in your office doesn't like you, she can just go to HR and complain about you sexually harassing her. HR then conducts their own internal investigation (you know, with all of those detective skills HR people picked up from their sociology and art history degrees), and at the very least, drags your name through the mud as they as your coworkers if they've ever seen you be inappropriate in any way. If you're unpopular, you're in trouble. I saw this happen to a senior partner at one of my old employers. The allegation wasn't even made by the girl in question, it was made by another senior partner looking to take down a rival.

In any case, handing more power to the morons in HR is NOT the solution to this problem. Does anyone on this site actually respect HR? It's not 'courageous' for me to say that I do not. But if we are going to go down that path, we should discuss diversity in HR. Now, I've never seen statistics on the gender breakdown of Fortune 500 HR departments, but I'm willing to guess its about 80% women just based on my few dozen visits to HR floors at various companies over the years. Women make and enforce the existing policies at large companies. Cultural failures at such firms are generally the fault of men (as the majority of board seats and c-suite positions are held by men), but policy failures (at least as they concern sexual harassment) at those same firms are generally the fault of the women who run HR. Perhaps giving more power to the people who originated the lackluster policies in the first place isn't the solution?

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Oct 19, 2017

I just don't talk to women at work and blankly stare at them when they attempt to converse with me. Makes my life easier and I don't have to worry about something I regret saying slipping out. Problem solved.

"That was basically college for me, just ya know, fuckin' tourin' with Widespread Panic over the USA."

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Oct 19, 2017

I actually laughed aloud reading this because I take the same damn approach. They can't get you for sexual harassment if you're constantly in blank stare robot mode.

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Oct 19, 2017

I assume you're joking, but just in case anyone thinks this is serious its not that hard to interact with your female colleagues as ... colleagues. The line between normal behavior and harrassment is bright red 99.9% of the time.

Oct 19, 2017

Sexual harassment / assault is not a liberal vs. conservative issue...

For every Weinstein and Cosby there's an O'Reilly and Roger Ailes.

Don't be that stupid, WSO.

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Oct 19, 2017

There's also Trump, who is neither liberal nor conservative (but plays whichever side suits him) but is powerful and a complete f***ing tool

Oct 19, 2017

everything on WSO and definitely anything @Dances with Dachshunds" opines on becomes a liberal vs. conservative issue. We could be talking about whether a DCF is better for valuing a company than an EBITDA multiple and he'd somehow steer the conversation towards partisan politics.

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Oct 20, 2017

Frightening that this even had to be said, nevermind the MS it recieved.

Oct 19, 2017
Schreckstoff:

Frightening that this even had to be said, nevermind the MS it recieved.

That's WSO in 2017. Some people went through some of my old comments and gave MS to them too because they were so triggered by the idea that sexual assault isn't somehow a political issue.

Sad what @WallStreetOasis.com 's website has turned into because of a handful of posters.

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Oct 19, 2017

How about this guy?

http://archive.is/CAEaz
Only see that shit in jew-dominated cities.

Edit: speech to text typo - meant to say BLUE-dominated cities as in demcrats

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Oct 19, 2017

~

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

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Oct 19, 2017

lol what does a woman being on ESPN have to do with allowing girls in Boy Scouts? Just curious as to this random equivalence you made.

Oct 19, 2017

The point is that Gender regulation is occurring across all spaces not just limited to the workplace.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.

Oct 19, 2017

I'm confused, what the fk does Cari Champion anchoring Sportscenter have to do with gender regulation?

Oct 19, 2017

It wasn't the main point just an observation that I wanted to point.

Work hard, work clean, & most of all do not give up.