Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Gender Bias - employee reviews

A fascinating, sad and true article.  http://fortune.com/2014/08/26/performance-review-gender-bias/

Some highlights:
He had two people he wanted to promote that year, but he was worried that his peers were only going to endorse one of them. “Jessica is really talented,” he said. “But I wish she’d be less abrasive. She comes on too strong.” Her male counterpart? “Steve is an easy case,” he went on. “Smart and great to work with. He needs to learn to be a little more patient, but who doesn’t?”

In all, I collected 248 reviews from 180 people, 105 men and 75 women. The reviews come from 28 different companies and include large technology corporations, mid-size companies, and smaller environments. I didn’t see any impact of company size in the results, nor did I discover patterns unique to any individual company.

Negative personality criticism—watch your tone! step back! stop being so judgmental!—shows up twice in the 83 critical reviews received by men. It shows up in 71 of the 94 critical reviews received by women.

There’s a common perception that women in technology endure personality feedback that their male peers just don’t receive. Words like bossy, abrasive, strident, and aggressive are used to describe women’s behaviors when they lead; words like emotional and irrational describe their behaviors when they object. All of these words show up at least twice in the women’s review text I reviewed, some much more often. Abrasive alone is used 17 times to describe 13 different women. Among these words, only aggressive shows up in men’s reviews at all. It shows up three times, twice with an exhortation to be more of it.

Monday, February 27, 2017


I reject the notion of quitting as a weakness.  Average people find comfort in that because it justifies the status quo.  It makes their lack of courage noble, not weak.   "Oh, I'm not a quitter" one boasts while they tolerate a destructive situation.   You don't quit the moment the boat starts to rock.  You don't quit before every stone has been turned.  But there is strength and bravery in being a smart quitter.  

The always notable Seth Godin:

" 'Never Quit.' What a spectacularly bad piece of advice. I think the advice giver meant to say 'Never quit something with great long-term potential just because you can’t deal with the stress of the moment'. Now that’s good advice."
"It’s time to quit when you secretly realize you’ve been settling for mediocrity all along. It’s time to quit when the things you’re measuring aren’t improving, and you can’t find anything better to measure.....  Smart quitters understand the idea of opportunity cost."
"What’s the worst time to quit? When the pain is the greatest. Decisions made during great pain are rarely good decisions."

Friday, February 24, 2017


2017 has been filled with excellent art.  During a time of transition, the consumption of art has helped to release stagnant energy, expand thinking, encourage creativity, ground me in the oneness of human experience, and generally be an antidote to woe.  Cheers to more. 

Image result for sleep no more nyc
Sleep No More, NYC
Image result for mfa
 Image result for who's afraid of virginia woolf playbill
Image result for The Moth Storytelling

Thursday, February 23, 2017

New Beginning

For a New Beginning 
~ John O’ Donohue
In out of the way places of the heart
Where your thoughts never think to wander
This beginning has been quietly forming
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire
Feeling the emptiness grow inside you
Noticing how you willed yourself on
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the grey promises that sameness whispered
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.