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Women in leadership roles - should their looks be mentioned?

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Women in leadership roles – should their looks be mentioned?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 88 total)
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  • #1050727
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    I think this warrants more discussion, so let’s talk about it.

    I opened my Columbus CEO tonight (yeah, I know I am *technically* COO of CU and the magazine was actually addressed to Walker, but whatever I open the mail. ;) )

    This month, the cover is this:

    I thought, oh! great, a woman on the cover. AND CEO of the year? Awesome!

    Upon opening the issue, I find the Editor’s notes written by Columbus CEO editor Mary Yost. The letter begins with, “Jane Grote Abell could win a beauty contest, but that’s not what landed her on our cover this month.”

    This really disappointed me and I posted on their website: “I was really disappointed to open Columbus CEO and read this note from the editor in the way it begins: “Jane Grote Abell could win a beauty contest, but that’s not what landed her on our cover this month.” Yes Ms. Abell is a pretty woman, but that does not matter and has no place even being stated in a business magazine that says it is read by top CEOs in Columbus. With all of the work people are doing to fight for gender equality and for more women to possess leadership roles in the world of business, starting off the opening letter of a business focused magazine in this way feels inappropriate. Leave it out and talk about how hard she works at the great company she runs. Thanks to Melissa Dutton for writing a great article about Ms. Abell further in the magazine.”

    I don’t think the magazine should have even said anything about Ms. Abell’s looks. It’s a shame that Columbus CEO would continue to word things this way and I hope that we are collectively moving toward a place where a woman is noticed because she is a strong business leader in her community.

    #1050733

    I’m totally okay with it, as long as they objectify male executives too . . . wait, they don’t do that?

    (fwiw, I’m equally irked when women objectify themselves. It’s gross and common.)

    #1050734

    mrsgeedeck
    Participant

    Ugh. Who cares how accomplished or successful, as long as she’s easy on the eyes. How is this the only way the media is comfortable discussing women?

    #1050735
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    I’m totally okay with it, as long as they objectify male executives too

    I’ve heard a number of people on this very message board comment on President Obama’s handsome mug…

    #1050741

    AmyD
    Participant

    I’m sure I’ve commented on the president of my country and my heart’s lovely face, but I’m not writing an article about his leadership skills. On this board, if we are shooting the shit, sure, I might mention his looks, but it’s about context in my opinion.

    #1050743

    El Diablo Einstein
    Participant

    I think that’s an odd thing to lead with. The whole “easy on the eyes” is just ingrained in society I guess but we need to move past that for women to get more equality. Sure its a compliment but it’s not one that need be given since this is about CEO of the year. But that was a woman making the comment so you can see how it’s going to be a long uphill battle to get the respect do when even someone from your own gender can’t make it happen. Looks have nothing to do with whether she can do a business or not or how she treats those around her.

    #1050756

    Twixlen
    Participant

    It’s not appropriate. It diminishes.

    There’s an article out of Australia going around today about how one of the male hosts of the Today Show there has worn the same suit every day for a year… and no one noticed. Meanwhile, his cohost is ridiculed or praised daily, based on how she looks/what she wears. His point was that when someone writes about him, what he says (good and bad) or the level of his job performance is what is mentioned; when it comes to his cohost, she is diminished to someone disagreeing with the color of her suit or her haircut.

    And yes – it is so often women who are writing these things about other women. No one is immune to the socialization that a woman’s value is in her presentation.

    #1050787

    OneBagTravel
    Participant

    I read that has someone complimenting her on being pretty and saying that’s not why she’s on the cover. How you spun it to be negative is beyond me. It’s a one line compliment and not even the focus of the article. Were you also on the witch hunt about the recent scientist being judged on what he wears and not by his accomplishments?. But I’m just some privileged cis oppressor, so what do I know.

    ***Trigger Warnings***
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    #1050789
    Anne Evans
    Anne Evans
    Keymaster

    It’s just not something I thought needed said at all. By saying it, her looks were immediately brought into the conversation, whether it was a positive or a negative.

    I wouldn’t have thought anything of it if it was a Sexiest Female CEOs in Columbus article, but instead it was CEO of the Year – but with a guess what – she’s not on here for her looks!

    #1050790

    OneBagTravel
    Participant

    If the article was about beautiful CEO’s then I’d actually be on your side. I only posted those links to show that there are articles out there that center around looks. Yet this article is centered around her accomplishments but is prefaced with a compliment that establishes the point that she’s wasn’t picked for her beauty.

    Am I completely missing something or is the author of the article actually on your side but you’re too stubborn to see it? I could play devils advocate here and argue if the first paragraph wasn’t there, people would say “Oh she was picked because she’s pretty.” Well no she was picked for other reasons, she just happens to be pretty, which is a compliment and shouldn’t be vilified.

    Walker is a handsome man, he’s also the best damn community editor this side of…. well you see what I’m saying. I complimented Walker and his work. If that makes me a bad person then…

    #1050792

    L.I. to Buckeye
    Participant

    Am I completely missing something…?

    Yes. You are.

    #1050793
    Coremodels
    Coremodels
    Participant

    I could play devils advocate here and argue if the first paragraph wasn’t there, people would say “Oh she was picked because she’s pretty.”

    Which would be the problem exactly.

    #1050794
    hugh59
    hugh59
    Participant

    Generally, no. Exceptions for reports where appearance is relevant. For instance, Steve Jobs’ illness made references to his appearance relevant since his appearance had a possible connection to the state of his health and his ability to do his job.

    #1050797
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    If the article was about beautiful CEO’s then I’d actually be on your side. I only posted those links to show that there are articles out there that center around looks. Yet this article is centered around her accomplishments but is prefaced with a compliment that establishes the point that she’s wasn’t picked for her beauty.

    I agree. Seems like they’re explicitly pointing out attractiveness to say it’s not a factor.

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>OneBagTravel wrote:</div>
    I could play devils advocate here and argue if the first paragraph wasn’t there, people would say “Oh she was picked because she’s pretty.”

    Which would be the problem exactly.

    Then, if that’s true, mentioning attractiveness and dismissing it as the reason for inclusion on a list of top CEOs works to dismiss the idea that attractiveness was a deciding factor.

    What’s the problem, again?

    #1050802

    DTown
    Participant

    I’m trying to get my head around this, as well. It seems to me that part of her public persona is presenting herself as an attractive person. She is literally the face of her company, and I’ve never seen her publicly looking anything but impeccable. Assuming that this is a persona that she is trying to convey for herself and her company, why is commenting on it a bad, or even unnecessary thing? Noting a person’s looks is taboo?

    Would you feel the same way if someone commented on a CEO’s “nerdy” appearance, as Bill Gates is often described? Or their “slobbish” appearance, as Steve Ballmer routinely is? How about their fitness level, as many male & female CEO’s are (and want to be) described? Remember Gordon Gee, isn’t his appearance part of who he is, even as a University President? What about fashion sense? How many times have you heard someone described as “at first glance, XXX doesn’t look like your prototypical CEO”? Should that automatically offend?

    Why isn’t beauty (whatever that implies) simply another trait that is or isn’t possessed by a person, and makes them, along with all the other traits they possess, who they are? Especially if a person cultivates a particular image, shouldn’t that be fair for comment? It seems unreasonable for everyone in the world to compartmentalize each trait of a person in terms of some particular discussion. For most people, they’re an amalgamation, and not easily separated.

    Noting a trait, and judging a person solely or inappropriately on a trait, should be two different things. Most people seem to get that, including the author of the piece. Why is the assumption that everyone is incapable of the distinction? Simply because some are?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 88 total)

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