Chapter 3 Success and Likeability
Okay, so all a woman has to do is ignore society's expectations, be ambitious, sit at the table, work hard, and then it's smooth sailing all the way.
What could possibly go wrong?
In 2003, Columbia Business School professor Frank Flynn and New York University professor Cameron Anderson
ran an experiment to test perceptions of men and women in the workplace.
They started with a Harvard Business School case study about a real-life entrepreneur named Heidi Roizen.
The case described how Roizen became a successful venture capitalist by using her "outgoing personality ...
and vast personal and professional network (that) included many of the most powerful business leaders in the technology sector."
Flynn and Anderson assigned half of the students to read Heidi's story
and gave the other half the same story with just one difference—they changed the name "Heidi" to "Howard."
Professors Flynn and Anderson then polled the students about their impressions of Heidi or Howard.
The students rated Heidi and Howard as equally competent, which made sense since "their" accomplishments were completely identical.
Yet while students respected both Heidi and Howard, Howard came across as a more appealing colleague.
Heidi, on the other hand, was seen as selfish and not "the type of person you would want to hire or work for."
The same data with a single difference—gender—created vastly different impressions.