by Patricia Sellers
On Monday we asked, "Are girls afraid of money?"
America (and beyond) voted and...I don't know what to conclude except I know that the question stirred the pot.
In the heated debate that ensued, I particularly appreciated the viewpoint of Matt in Springfield, VA, who said he wasn't surprised by the results of the experiment in which five $20 bills were placed randomly on classroom desks, and female college students didn't sit near any of them.
Mike's comment: "Women are conditioned by society to not show aggression...Women, in general, are conditioned to be consensus seekers...Men, OTOH, are conditioned to more or less ignore consensus and go with the leader's choice or the more objectively correct choice...
When decisions need to be made quickly, the male mode seems to me to be the better choice. There simply isn't time to ensure a consensus and get everybody feeling good about the decision. When it comes to people's centric decisions, the female mode appears better to me. I would imagine female dominated companies don't have as much turnover due to employees frustrated because they don't think they're opinions are listened to."
I don't know about that. (Do you?) But Mike's comment rings true--and reminds me of a quote from former Xerox (XRX) CEO Anne Mulcahy about her own rise to leadership: "I used to define power as influence -- that you gotta get everyone's vote. So it doesn't feel like power. It feels like consensus," said Mulcahy, who now serves on the boards of Target (TGT) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). "I've learned that a decision needs to be made. A call needs to be made...I'm still learning."
BTW, I noticed in the papers this morning loads of news about Most Powerful Women delivering big numbers. DuPont (DD) CEO Ellen Kullman beat earnings expectations for a ninth straight quarter. Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, who rose from intern to chief under Mulcahy, reported hefty increases in sales and profits.
As for me, well, I'm a wimp at negotiating my own pay, but I'm trying to get comfortable with money.
When my 90-year-old dad emailed me to ask how I would behave in that room with the $20 bills, I replied to him:
"I think I would have sat at one of the desks with the $20...and picked it up and raised my hand and asked the teacher, 'What is this and who does it belong to?'...Classic Aries only child. Leader, not follower. ;-)"
The debate rages on about women and money. After I published "Are women afraid of money?"--which stirred up this week's far-flung opinionated commentary--Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN, emailed me her thoughts. Her note was so insightful that I asked her if I could run it as a Guest Post.
Sobbott knows entrepreneurs. At American Express (AXP) since 1990, she has headed OPEN, the company's small-business card unit for seven MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 21, 2011 10:49 AM ET
by Patricia Sellers
Monday's Postcard--detailing an experiment in which female undergrads revealed themselves to be practically allergic to $20 bills placed randomly in a classroom--drew a flood of comments and spirited debate about women and money.
Men, for the most part, said women do fear money. "Why the fear?" asked a Miami reader, Michael D. " "IMHO, it is learned behavior. Girls are bought things, boys are given opportunities to own them."
Other MOREPatricia Sellers - Apr 19, 2011 12:24 PM ET
By Patricia Sellers
Yesterday, Fortune wrapped up its Most Powerful Women Summit -- the three-day event that I'm lucky enough to chair -- with Senator Olympia Snowe in the early morning and Hillary Clinton and Avon CEO Andrea Jung just before noon. Warren Buffett (BRKA), our honorary Most Powerful Guy participant, was sitting next to me watching the show from the front row. Yesterday I shared with you some choice lines MOREScott Olster, editor - Oct 7, 2010 2:39 PM ET
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