A Babyface Shall Lead Us?

What Women Really Think
May 14 2009 1:15 PM

A Babyface Shall Lead Us?

Vanessa, I share your concern that women have limited workplace stereotypes from which to choose: We’re either the nurturing pushover or the demanding bitch. We’re not the only group, though, struggling with how to present ourselves in the workplace. A study out last week found that, among black men, having a "babyface" helps you climb the career ladder. While white CEOs are hurt by being all chubby and kid-like, black CEOs benefit from the "disarming" qualities of a babyface. As Robert Livingston, co-author of the study, said, "anything that conveys to whites 'I'm not the typical black man' can be helpful."

The same, it seems, goes for women. Be too much the typical woman-too busty, too high-voiced, too sensitive-and you’re deemed by your underlings and superiors, whether consciously and verbally or not, unfit to lead. Both blacks and women in the workplace must fight against the perception of being too harsh, either because it makes us "bitchy" or because it makes us "scary." But a good boss is demanding, critical, and stern. How can anyone pull off such a delicate balance?

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Can Never Remember Anything

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 19 2014 1:56 PM Scotland’s Attack on the Status Quo Expect more political earthquakes across Europe.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Why Men Never Remember Anything
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Movies
Sept. 19 2014 2:06 PM The Guest and Fort Bliss How do we tell the stories of soldiers returning home from war?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 12:38 PM Forward, March! Nine leading climate scientists urge you to attend the People’s Climate March.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.