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Newsletter Week 36

October 18, 2019

Insights from the growing D&I practitioner community in France. Also, the Harvard admissions decision doesn’t mean that the barriers Asian American face in US society have gone away. The freelance gender pay gap outpaces the wage gap. By a lot. Finally, people don’t like being criticized by a female boss, and that’s a problem for women leaders.

This Week in D&I In Practice

Diversity Doers: A View on D&I in France with Soumia Malinbaum (D&I In Practice Original)

Soumia Malinbaum got involved in D&I after founding her own tech company and experiencing discrimination first hand. The 2006 riots in the Paris suburbs only deepened her resolve to build bridges across different segments of French society. Now she is head of the largest society of diversity practitioners in France. She shares with us her observations about challenges that French companies face around diversity and inclusion, and how practitioners are making progress.

This Week in News and Research

1.  Harvard and the Myth of the Interchangable Asian (New York Times)

This reflection comes on the heels of the recent Harvard decision, which allows race as a factor in college admissions. While Asian Americans have, as a group, enjoyed a great deal of educational and employment success in US society, it’s important to recognize the stereotypes, barriers and lack of acceptance people of Asian descent still face. For example, the “bamboo ceiling,” which keeps Asian Americans--and especially Asian-American women--dramatically under-represented in leadership as a percentage of their participation in the workforce.

2. Women Going Freelance Face Bigger Gender Pay Gap (Financial Times)

While European countries, and even the US, are focusing on pay equity within companies, a problem is looming in the freelance market. Even in countries like Belgium, which have been relatively successful in closing the wage gap, are far from parity among the self-employed. The potential reasons are many. For entrepreneurs, women have less access to capital to build their businesses. Plus, it’s harder to spot bias (or do anything about it when you do spot it) when applying for freelance gigs. 

What, if anything, does your company do to ensure pay equity among your contract work force?

3. Bosses Face More Discrimination if They are Women--From Employees of Any Gender (The Conversation)

People don’t like to be criticized by a female boss. That’s a problem for women leaders, as their job sometimes calls for giving critical feedback. But why do people dislike less-than-positive feedback from a woman? Two words: gender norms. From the article: 

“...what seems to drive the results are gendered expectations of management styles. Other studies have shown that workers are three times more likely to associate giving praise with female managers and twice more likely to associate giving criticism with male managers. People react negatively if something violates their expectations.”

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