Women face double standard, Greuel says
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Posted by: Barbara Francella
In politics and in corporate America, women
continue to face a double standard, judged by different measures than men, according to Wendy Greuel, the former Los
Angeles controller and mayoral candidate, who addressed NEW members at the NEW
Leadership Summit, Oct. 22, 2013 in Los Angeles.
Women face "a double-bind dilemma," Greuel said. "No matter what
directive is followed, the response [a woman makes] will be construed as
View NEW Summit photo album on Facebook
Career-minded women are often
challenged by a decision to "lean back” — holding off on life
decisions while making career choices — before "leaning in,” Gruel said, noting she had a
child while in office.
only run for office after they have their children. "Unless you have women in
positions of power, people who look like you and me, we will never reach our
full potential," Greuel said. "Whether in politics or
corporations, women bring a different dialogue to these conversations.”
clearly scrutinized more than men when they run for office, she added. They
are often rated on "likability,” while men are not subject to the same
Even after changing her image in a series of photographs, Greuel found she was
judged as either not feminine enough or too feminine. "Did the guys have to do
that? Did they look at what they wore?” she asked.
While engaged in
a media dispute with another female candidate, a television interviewer asked
Greuel, "How could you do that to another woman?”
responded, "Would you have asked that question if it was two guys?” the
television reporter promptly went to a commercial without answering the question.
For women to
advance, the world needs to accept the whole spectrum of life experience. "We have to allow women to have different
choices,” Greuel said. "You can balance, it’s just not every day. I call it the
Seeing women at
the top of different ladders is key to changing perspectives on women’s roles
in society. "There is an important part to having women in the c-suite as well
as women in elected office,” she said.
"I believe that we can smash the double-bind
dilemma. We can’t wait for attitudes to change. We need to change attitudes.”
Wendy Greuel, former Los Angeles mayoral candidate,
says women continue to face a double standard.