Saturday, December 21, 2013

Can I Get a Booster Seat in the Boardroom?

"Twenty-one of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women."- Sheryl Sandberg

That's only 4.2%

Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and she has now sold half a million copies of her book "Lean In."
She tells women to "lean in" to their careers instead of holding back.  Society's gender roles are stifling half our population, and destroying our creativity, our productivity, our ability to lead as a nation.  Women are told by society that they should be at home raising kids.  That is where they belong. They shouldn't be as pushy or as ambitious as men.  Even if they don't have kids, they are out of place in the boardroom.

There is now a commercial from Pantene that illustrates this point very well:

Women are discriminated against.  Women earn less than men for the same job.  Women are stereotyped: they are seen as pushy when men are seen as powerful or persuasive.

There are many groups that are oppressed.  There is a mountain of evidence showing discrimination against blacks, women, gays, etc...
 - and they all have their advocacy.

Well what about me?  I am a heterosexual white American male from a middle class family.  Am I oppressed? Am I discriminated against?


I am less likely to be a CEO than a woman.

I am predicted to make $166,000 less over the next 30 years than the white American male living next door doing the same job.

I am oppressed in leadership opportunities, income equality, and likelihood for promotion.


Because I'm 5'6"

You think the percentage of female CEOs is low at 4.2%?

Try 2% - that's the percentage that are under 5'7."

That means the average woman has more than double my chance of becoming a Fortune 500 CEO, just because I'm short.

One inch of height is worth $789 a year in salary.
(Now I wish I'd taken those growth shots the pediatrician offered when I was in kindergarten.  I was so short I had fallen completely off the growth chart.)

If women stand up for themselves they are called pushy, bossy, or selfish.
Well what if a short man stands up for himself?

You already know the joke - He gets asked to stand up again, because he still can't be seen.

Where's my Sheryl Sandberg writing a book to advocate for me?  Where's my Pantene commercial going viral?
They don't exist, because as I've been told - it's not discrimination, I just have "short man syndrome."


cdavis said...

Don't you think the number of CEO's under 5'7" is strongly correlated to the number of women CEOs? If more women were CEOs, there would be a shorter average.

Also, only about 20% of American males are under 5'7", while more than 50% of Americans are female, so saying that you have less of a chance of being a CEO than a woman is false.

That said, I believe that height discrimination is real. I just don't think the CEO comparison makes a genuine point.

Simple Citizen said...

I know what you mean. What would the percentage be for a short female?
Obviously women are on average shorter than men, so women are once again at a disadvantage.

BUT - if you take a 5'6" man, and compare his chances with that of all women, his chances are 2% while hers is 4.

My point was that everyone will advocate for certain groups: women, blacks, gays, etc....
No one advocates for short people, because we're still a joke.

Anonymous said...


I just have a question about your site - If you could please email me back when you get a chance I'd greatly appreciate it.