Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dads and Their Daughters.

"Until it hits close to home, and you're coming after me and mine, it's not real."

David Ross, associate professor at Columbia Business School just brought a giant ray of sunshine to the debate we're having today. His (preliminary) research in Denmark has found that if a male CEO has a son, there is no change in the salaries of those around him. Yet, if a male CEO has a daughter, there is an instantaneous rise in the salaries of the female managers around him. His conclusion: if all it takes is that moment of realization, when you realize you want to make the world a more equal place because you now have a living investment in the future, this is a battle we can win.

Love it, and the conference loved it as well.

However...this means that the attitudes towards women are that much more important. This means that the gendercide going on in countries like India and China is that much more horrifying. It raises even more questions about how to tackle gender gaps on a global scale. And in no way does it mean that we can just wait for others to have that "light bulb" moment, that our work is done, or that we--men and women alike--still do not have the responsibility to close the gender gaps in our own lives.


  1. Fascinating, really just fascinating...I wonder if they have studies that show this elsewhere in professional life? What happens the first time you have a female boss? The first time you have a woman as a team project lead? Was there a female bump after Hillary Clinton ran for office?

    Cool stuff.

  2. I find this really interesting, but also troubling that it takes that much of a personal connection to provoke a lightbulb moment. Since Ross's research suggests that the capacity is there for CEOs, even for those without daughters- how can we find other ways of provoking this type of meaningful connection? As you suggest, we all need to take responsibility to promote these moments of realization.

  3. I've had the privilege of being in the business of empowering women for over 15 years. What I find intersting is many of the men will come up to me and say "I want you to empower my daughters but stay away from my wife". Therefore, let us think about this...yes, men may want equality for women ONLY when it is not a direct threat to them. Any thoughts?