By Heidi Stevens Chicago Tribune
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Ernst & Young held a day-and-a-half leadership and empowerment seminar which was straight out of the 1950's. One of the attendees gave a copy of the 55-page presentation to HuffPost which included advice to women like, "Don't flaunt your body, sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women)."
I'm still trying to get my head around the pancake thing.
"Women's brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it's hard for them to focus," female executives were told at an Ernst & Young training seminar in 2018. "Men's brains are more like waffles. They're better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square."
Men are from Waffle House, women are from IHOP! Somebody call John Gray.
One of the women who attended the accounting firm's day-and-a-half leadership and empowerment(?) seminar gave a copy of the 55-page presentation to HuffPost.
"Full of out-of-touch advice," HuffPost wrote, "the presentation focused on how women need to fix themselves to fit into a male-dominated workplace."
"Don't flaunt your body, sexuality scrambles the mind (for men and women)," attendees were told.
"A long list of 'Invisible Rules' for men and women on Page 13 paints a bleak portrait of contrasting communication styles," according to HuffPost. "It says that women often 'speak briefly' and 'often ramble and miss the point' in meetings. By comparison, a man will 'speak at length, because he really believes in his idea.'"
It's a stunner. You feel like you've stumbled upon one of those "how to land a husband" articles from 1950s McCall's. ("Stand in a corner and cry softly.")
Except this presentation was offered in 2018. At a major accounting firm.
In other news, well-known pastor, author and radio host John MacArthur went on an anti-women-as-ministers tear at a conference for Christian leaders. Asked what phrase pops in his head when he hears about author and fellow preacher Beth Moore, MacArthur answered, "Go home."
"There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher," MacArthur told the crowd, according to Christian Headlines. "Period, paragraph, end of discussion."
Except it wasn't the end of discussion, of course.
"When the leaders of evangelicalism roll over for women preachers, the feminists have really won the battle," MacArthur continued, to applause.
"The primary effort in feminism is not equality" he said. "They don't want equality, that's why 99% of plumbers are men. They don't want equal power to be a plumber, they want to be senators, preachers, congressmen, president, the power structure in a university. They want power, not equality." (Chicago Women in Trades would beg to differ on that plumber point.)
And lest we forget, Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman celebrated his team's win by taunting and swearing at three female reporters in the clubhouse.
Not a banner week for gender relations in the workplace.
Here's the thing: Men didn't invent work. Women have been working since the beginning of time. They were nurses in the Revolutionary War and every war since. They crammed into factories in the early 1900s. They've cooked and cleaned and care-taken and taught and invented and written and built and created, sometimes with pay, sometimes without, since our nation's founding. This is especially true of women of color.
And still (still!) (in 2019!) we see these examples of men behaving as though they got to work first and women showed up to spoil the fun. To invade their space. To play office.
Work is not a man cave.
Women aren't there to refill the snacks and fluff the pillows. Women are there to work.
We're not window dressing. We're not optional props, in need of frequent reminders to stay in our place, lest we disturb all the waffle brains.
It's sort of stunning this still needs to be said. Women earn 57% of the bachelor's degrees in this country, according to Pew Research data. Women have earned the majority of doctoral degrees for a decade and outnumber men in graduate school 137 to 100, according to American Enterprise Institute. Still, old attitudes die hard.
Hang in there, women. As our wise sage Serena Williams said about her family's ability to forever change the sport of tennis: "Not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn't stop winning."
Let your brain soak that up. ___ Join the Heidi Stevens Balancing Act Facebook group, where she continues the conversation around her columns and hosts occasional live chats. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.