Do Women Experience Gender Penalty?

Who said beauty and brains had to be mutually exclusive?

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There is an irony in a blog I wrote 2 years ago. It started like this.

A friend of mine was having a friendly talk with a young executive outside work. The conversation veered towards finding life partners. The young executive casually mentioned to my friend, “If I had to choose between beauty and brains, I will choose brains any day.”

When she repeated the young executives statement to me over a coffee, I was dumbstruck, shocked and perplexed. Who said beauty and brains had to be mutually exclusive? It smacks of egotism and poor reference stereotypes.

If you step back and think about it, beauty and brains are independent variables. The very notion that they are inversely related in the populace is a symptom to root out.

The irony

I had a poor choice of word in the concluding section . My line read, “Seated between two lovely daughters, I wonder what their future beholds for them.”

I learned about it in the comments section of the blog (on Linkedin). Ever thankful to Charlotte Wittenkamp for opening my eyes to my blindspot.

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I changed the line. The irony of playing to the gender stereotypes was not lost on me.

The military did it too in 1941. The story of an inventor who happened to be also labeled as the most beautiful women. Mike Rowe (the awesome narrator in discovery channel) shares the tale in less than 6 min flat. [1.23 min to 6.47 min]

2 years ago,I changed my line — Seated between two delightful daughters, I wonder what their future beholds for them.

My question still endures— will my daughters experience gender penalty?

What do you feel?

Karthik Rajan.

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Stories to fuel your mind. Theme: life’s hidden treasures in plain sight. Goal: Warm tone, solid content, crisp stories. About me: one google search away.

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