October 2017

Where do women study STEM at high rates? Sweden, where gender equality is a super important cultural value? In the US where we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get more women into tech? Or in the Middle East, where some women can’t (yet) legally drive and are the property of their closest male relative?

If you answered the latter, you’d be right. In a fascinating article about education in the Middle East, Amanda Ripley writes at The Atlantic:

In fact, across the Arab world, women now earn more science degrees on a percentage basis than women in the United States. In Saudi Arabia alone, women earn half of all science degrees. And yet, most of those women are unlikely to put their degrees to paid use for very long.

This is baffling on the most obvious levels. In the West, researchers have long believed that future prospects incentivize students to invest in school. The conventional wisdom is that girls do better in school as women acquire more legal and political rights in society. But many Middle Eastern women do not go on to have long professional careers after graduating; they spend much of their lives working at home as wives and mothers. Fewer than one in every five workers is female in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

All throughout the world, girls outperform boys in school. That’s not the shocking part. The shocking part is that we claim that women aren’t studying STEM subjects at school and aren’t entering tech careers in the US because of discrimination and oppression, but in countries where women don’t have a lot of rights (and granted, those rights vary drastically even within Middle Eastern countries), they manage to succeed in STEM in school.

To keep reading, click here:  If You Want More Women in STEM, Try Discriminating Against Them

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Should Your Company Offer Unlimited PTO?

by Evil HR Lady on October 4, 2017

Unlimited vacation days sound like a dream. Imagine being able to take off and go to the beach anytime you like. Or perhaps beach trips aren’t your thing, so you can go skiing every Friday or stay home every time your children are out of school. Think of the money you’ll save by not having to pay for child care during those times!

Unfortunately, unlimited PTO doesn’t really work that way in practice. You still need to do your job, which means you still need to work. And if you don’t do a good job and get all of your work done, you’ll be fired. So, unlimited PTO doesn’t necessarily translate into more time off.

Forbes says that everyone should offer unlimited PTO, based on Netflix’s example. After all, given today’s knowledge economy and the instant availability required in most jobs—time that isn’t tracked—why bother tracking time away from the office? It makes some sense, but it doesn’t always work in the employees’ favor. Here are some examples.

To keep reading, click here: Should Your Company Offer Unlimited PTO?

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Top down management sounds like a pretty traditional hierarchy. There’s the CEO, his minions, their minions, and then the worker bees. Everyone does precisely what the person above them tells them to do. However, this “top-down” style of management is pretty awful in real life. There isn’t a CEO on the planet that is so brilliant he needs no ideas from the “little people.”

To read all about it, click here: The Perils of Top Down Management

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The October 1 massacre that killed over 50 and wounded hundreds more was a national tragedy. Most people were in shock, horrified and saddened by what happened. But, CBS Senior Attorney Hayley Geftman-Gold wasn’t saddened or even sympathetic to the victims, according to a comment she made on Facebook, which was captured and shared by Brandon Morse:

CBS did the right thing and fired Geftman-Gold’s because of her statement that “I’m actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans are often republican gun toters.”

To keep reading, click here: CBS Fires Vice President Over Horrible Las Vegas Facebook Post

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Someone Sabotaged My LinkedIn Account

by Evil HR Lady on October 2, 2017

One of my readers had something horrible happen to her: a competitor hacked her LinkedIn account and then sent nasty messages to a bunch of her contacts. To make it even more difficult, after sending the messages, the hacker deleted the messages so my poor reader can’t tell who got a nasty message and who didn’t. If the person doesn’t respond, she may never know. She asked me “How do I undo the damage to my professional reputation?”

While I like to think that most people are good people (and I do believe this) there are definitely a few bad apples who will stop at nothing to destroy someone else.If you run afoul of such a person, heaven help you.

But, is this woman’s professional reputation destroyed? Probably not. Here’s what you should do to start to undo the damage an enemy can make.

To keep reading, click here: Someone Sabotaged My LinkedIn Account

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