A theory I have been kind of developing or at least kicking around in my head is the theory that there is something fundamentally flawed about corporate America that basically undermines the long term ability of companies to not only be profitable, but also undermines their longevity and integrity. This flaw (or these flaws) come from the fact that the American population as a whole is more or less being corrupted and there is no longer any semblance of "doing the right thing," only "doing what's best for me."
Now, this is not to say the people have become immoral. I'm just saying their thinking has been corrupted much like a software code. And whereas in the past principle, honor, integrity and personal morality would self-govern individuals to "make the right choice" now it is self-preservation that determines what choices we make, even if it is the "wrong" choice.
Like I said, the theory is not solidified yet (and I would love your commentary to help me solidify it), but for example when I was a credit analyst at a bank, my job was to assess and measure the risk of the proposed loans. The "right" decision to make was to recommend these loans be turned down. It was moral. It was just. It would be in the long term interests of the bank. It was just the plain truth. However, there was an incredible amount of pressure for me to re-write these loans in an unrealistically better light. This would be the wrong choice.
Now, my personality being moral, honorable, ethical and right (fools call this "stubbornness") I made the "right choice" and resign my position. However, there were thousands of other credit and risk analysts who just capitulated under the pressure and made the "wrong choice" and kept their jobs. Now keep in mind, I'm not accusing them of immoral behavior. I'm just saying they probably had no choice. If you are a father of 3 or a mother with a child on the way, you cannot afford to all of the sudden become moral and put in peril your job and living. But regardless of the morality of the decision, it is here that the corruption creates that fundamental flaw that I theorize plagues most of corporate America.
In other words (or as in the words of my father) "it is better to be nice than right."
Now, this does not just apply in terms of banking and assessing the risk of loans. But because it is in the people's best long term interests to do what they're told and not necessarily what's right, corporations and employers of all stripes, if unwilling or incapable of listening to criticism, run the risk of having nobody to sound the alarms and act as if everything is hunky dory even though the ship is sinking.
Another perfect example would be the auto unions. I can only imagine my intellectually honest UAW worker equivalent saying, "hey, hey, hey. We're killing to goose that laid the golden egg here. We got to reign in health care compensation otherwise we'll ALL lose our jobs."
I'm sure he was shushed up real quick.
Regardless, the larger point is that corporate America, which is staffed and headed up by Americans, do not like conflict, they do not like challenge, they do not like bad news, no matter if that bad news is reality. And in sticking their fingers in their ears and singing Jimmy Cracks Corn and I Don't Care, or worse creating an environment where any kind of rocking the boat is punished, they then undermine, if not guarantee their demise.
Now, how does this relate to women making better employees? Naturally you have all seen the data showing that this recession is affecting men disproportionately more than women. Men face an 8.8% unemployment rate, while women only face a 7% unemployment rate.
And while they cite the reason for the gap is industries that employ more males have suffered the most during this recession (construction, finance, real estate), I cannot but help but wonder if at least some of that difference is because women make better employees.
Now understand, by saying "better employees" I mean "better soldiers." People who follow orders. People who don't give their commanding officer any guff. They do what they're told and that's it. And not that I have any empirical evidence of this, but I have heard enough stories from my female friends that suggests this may be the case. One female lawyer friend of mine works at a law firm where all the partners are males, but all the staff lawyers are females. She said "they tried to hire a male lawyer once, didn't work. Egos were clashing." She also mentioned how emotions can run high and it is not uncommon where the female lawyers end up crying. If it ever came to that point with a male lawyer, he would just quit or at least be less likely to tolerate that crap.
Another female friend of mine, god bless her soul, she's a moron. A complete ditz. However, she keeps getting promoted at work. Again, not because she comes up with new and great ideas, but because she is just a good soldier, a good cog (he grandfather also happened to have been one of the founding members of the company).
Regardless, there are more anecdotes, but in general men's tendency to be more aggressive, confrontational, and blunt make them worse employees, at least in the eyes of a corporation that wants compliance, conformance and obedience above profitability and morality. Additionally, corporations are moving away from the swashbuckling, Captain of Industry, Hank Rearden, Andrew Carnegie, Tony Stark, progress-at-the-speed-of-light industrialist and towards a more politically correct emasculated "good corporate citizen"/entity that is there to provide jobs for people and sell only green products. And if you're going to keep staff on during a massive recession and in this environment, you're probably going to keep the "yesmen/women" while you fire the firebrand males who (no matter how right) are rocking the boat and disturbing the corporate America serenity.
Ergo, why unemployment for men is higher than women today.