December 1, 2008

Whose gender gap?

This post will get the comments rolling.


The 2007 Gender Gap list by the World Economic Forum put Italy at the bottom of the European heap and way down at number 84 on a world list of 128 countries.This is the country of veline and vallette and very, very few women in politics.

Although actually my most recent encounter with male assumptions about what women can and cannot do, came from a Brit living in the US. His assumptions about Italian males, brought him to assume that I, a woman, would have difficulties working as a coach with a group of males in a business performance area. So does that mean that this job should, by fault, go to a man?

And who is being sexist here?

a domani,


Jeff said...

OK I'll start. It's bad here! Thank god I'm a guy. For crying out loud you also get judged so much on your age too. I don't look my age so everyone assumes I don't have the experience necessary to do my job. UGGHHH...

Anonymous said...

Dear Jeff, thank God you are a guy? Do you pray this daily?

Though it is tough being female in the world in general, I still love it. The struggle continues, but it can also be fun. Pat

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

This topic is endless. I was a young manager in Italy at 28 years old and did encounter a sort of sexism in working with Italian males... a kind of "pat on the head" mentality like, "isn't that cute? She's playing manager" and always lots of comments from the men on my outfits (how cute you look today) etc. But I dressed really conservatively and didn't like drawing attention to myself. I never got used to how men ogle women or size them up. It's a lot more overt than in the States. So the list is no surprise!

Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

I must add though, that after the initial B.S. I received, once the Italian men I had to work with saw that I was serious, responsible and capable, I honestly got respect and didn't have to be aggressive to do so. I think you just have to get over maybe the initial "shock" they might have over the fact that a *gasp* woman is in the position. It's not as common in Italy, apparently. Of course, unless you have certain "talents," or so I've heard... ? Apparently all women in TV and politics aren't there for their brains. What do you think, is this true??

Kataroma said...

I've heard Italian men (and women) make these comments about how various successful women 'slept their way to the top' (actually they put it a bit more crudely than this) and I think that's terribly sexist. I have a female friend who has been very successful at an Italian company through sheer hard work and intelligence and she gets all these comments about how she must be sleeping with the boss (she's not). It's truly awful.

When I worked at an Italian company it was almost all women - only one man - it was great. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I've actually had experiences with Brits being rather pleistocene in their attitudes when they let their guard down - though they're also masters at applying a veneer so it doesn't usually show. At least Italians are more what-you-see-is-what-you-get.

Elizabeth Abbot said...

To anonymous,
Exactly my point.
At least with the Italians you can deal with it up front. With the Brits (and Americans) you have to wade your way through all the politically correct language to get there.