There’s Always Something

According to Harvard Business Review, women working hard to ascend the corporate ladder have a new barrier: their male peers’ wives.

A May 16 blog revealed data from a research report on employed men’s attitudes and beliefs, and found that those with stay-at-home wives or wives who only worked part time were more likely to have a less than favorable view of women at work, think the office actually runs less smoothly the more women there are in it, and consider females up for promotion less qualified than comparable male peers.

The conclusion? “Marriage structures play an important role in economic life beyond the four walls of the house.”

Man, it’s always something. Either bias reveals itself as blatant discrimination or stereotyping, or it’s unconscious, apparently socialized into our bones early. And I’m talking early, early. Like way back when boys were given trucks to play with and girls got the Easy Bake oven.

The blogger, Lauren Stiller Rikleen, said she spoke with male colleagues to get their take, and some men admitted that having successful married women around invalidated the choices they and their wives had made about dividing up the responsibilities around work and family.

The blog goes on to say that these biases are understandable because it’s natural to seek validation for our choices.

I suppose so, but I have to say, I sincerely hope these married women aren’t dropping poison pills in their husbands’ ears. I have a feeling many are, though, which is beyond sad. Women have it tough enough without having to battle men and women for the opportunity to excel in an environment where our contributions are not only valuable — they’re necessary.