Tuesday November 20
Kanter believes that the number of women relative to men in a workplace is
extremely significant. She says that the demographics of a workplace is extremely
important. She also talks about sexually-skewed groups. Kanter is especially
interested in these groups because you tend to commonly find these groups in
management. These are groups that have two social types in them. Dominants, who
are men, and tokens, who are women. You must strive to be in the dominant group.
They choose what the norms are; they decide everything about the atmosphere of
the workplace. You do not want to be a token. People in this social position are in the
Talk about sexually skewed groups, dominant, and tokens. Talk about the
percentage of women and men in workplaces. Be able to answer whether
each theory is rationalist or naturalist or structuralist.
Tendencies in Sexually-skewed Groups
Performance pressures, the pursuit of invisibility, and the fear of success. When you
constitute 30 – 50 % of a managerial group, you are visible; you stick out. This
generates performance pressures. They get nervous because they feel as if they are
always being examined under a microscope. Are women really suitable for the job?
Can they really successfully do it? Are they competent?
Sometimes if there is too much pressure, women will purposely make themselves
socially invisible. They will become passive; they won’t push for power and
independence. If they instead become pushy, and cocky, the men will retreat from
them, and this will hurt their job.
Example: One woman was interviewed in a company. She seemed like a very able
person, someone who knew how to get the job done. She is talking about
performance pressures, and says that she feels like the men in her workplace are
constantly watching her. Every day she feels like not going back to work. She felt as
if she was representing all women. Women also need to deal with other issues in
these situations. Men