Luckily, we also have some good news.
The idea of the likeability gap, men being liked more as they succeed and women being liked less as they do the same, has been getting a lot of buzz recently. In Let's Talk About That Ambition Gap, Nisha Chittal discusses the intrinsic challenge women face to reconcile their ambition with their learned obligation to be likeable. In She Who Dies With the Most Likes Wins, Jessica Valenti argues that not being liked by everyone probably means you're doing something right. She says that "power and authenticity are worth it." That's a nice thought. Bryce Covert agrees that the Ambition Gap is malarky (to use a recent VP debate buzzword) - he makes a case for workplace bias, pointing out that women are just as likely as men to ask for raises and promotions. He says that subtle professional sexism is uncomfortable to discuss, and he's right - so cheers to him for steering the conversation there.
Catalyst recently released its 2012 Fortune 500 Census, with troubling results. They are taking steps forward to prepare a list of Catalyst approved, board-ready women, which they will use to challenge CEOs to diversify their own boardrooms.
These discussions are a good thing. The likeability problem is a big deal. John and I have had many conversations about why it's so important to me to be loved and liked. It's much easier for him to move forward - in relationships and in his career - without worrying about whom he might offend or how his tone might be perceived. I tend to agonize over these things, the pros and cons, the potential friendship backlash. I've recently made progress in being more true to myself, with less thought to what surface friendships it may or may not change. Jessica Valenti suggested (above) that it's better to be loved by a few than liked by many. And the ones who love you? They're always right there, every step of the way.
What do you think about this - the beginning of progress or media hype? I'd love to hear. :)