[EDEQUITY Male Dialogue] Positive experience in business school

From: hbarclay@edc.org
Date: Tue Dec 19 2000 - 15:25:03 EST

Reference to past EdEquity Dialogue on "Gender is a Male Issue"
Hi Meg

I'd like to respond to the Work team in Business School comments. I had a
different experience at business school. We women were very comfortable
working in teams and held our own in group presentations, critiques and
team negotiations. I worked well with all the male students in the class
and had great rapport with the Professors. I think it all depends on how
you are raised at home and at school. As a family growing up in Jamaica,
my parents encouraged us to be competitive, to study very hard and to
develop a positive self image. My sister and I were treated as equals with
my two brothers. We were given the same attention in academics and sports
activities. As a result my sister studied chemical engineering and I
majored in economics and business administration. So much for the "girl
thing." I don't think one can generalize about girls' performance in a
male environment. Exposure and image building is critical to success.

Helen Barclay, EDC

Meg Manderseon wrote:

As lurker, I intended to listen and learn but Barbara's comments on the
inversion of the accepted stereotype (and like all stereotypes, this one is
of limited utility!) of male competition and female cooperation has lured
me out. I was for many years on the admissions committee of a top ranked
business school. It was very striking how difficult it was for the
relatively few women (about 30% of each class) to function in assigned
teams. They did not understand the "rules" of work teams where there were
no bonds of friendship and "clan" and tended to fall into competitive
stances seemingly based on the mating competition which informs so much of
non-related female interaction. The men utilized a different model - sports
teams or armed service experience, which predicated an enlightened
self-interest motive for cooperating even when they felt no particular
connection to or even necessarily liking for, their team mates. If seems to
me that all of these models are "true" and all can benefit when various
elements are combined.

All of which argues, in my opinion for the gender equity model being of
benefit to both genders. And argues against single sex models of learning
in most cases where there is no opportunity for cross-fertilization.

Just some amateur observations!

Meg Manderson

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