The ‘likeability’ and not being ‘difficult’ trap
For women, there’s an inverse relationship between success and likeability. The fate of figures such as Hillary Clinton prove that the more ambition a woman exercises, the less palatable she may be perceived to be. In The Leadership, brilliant female scientists reveal the hostility they’ve encountered during field work, often undertaken in remote, high-pressure locations. Science communicator Fern Hames recalls working in an environment with 28 men and being told “we don’t have women scientists”. She also reveals that although a male colleague once left shotgun holes in her field hut, she didn’t want to be seen as ‘difficult’ by reporting it: “I didn’t want to make waves, it was my first proper job.” It’s an extreme example that illustrates how women who are successes in their fields can be vilified for simply turning up and doing their jobs.
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