Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the careers of women in Science, Engineering and Technology (STEM), and aims to address gender inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of women in senior roles.

Monday, 29 June 2015

In the news - Why Women Apologize and Should Stop

For so many women, myself included, apologies are inexorably linked with our conception of politeness. Somehow, as we grew into adults, “sorry” became an entry point to basic affirmative sentences.
True, this affliction is not exclusive to our gender. It can be found among men — in particular, British men — but it is far more stereotypical of women. So, in the words of a popular 2014 Pantene ad, why are women always apologizing?
One commonly posited theory, which informs everything from shampoo commercials to doctoral dissertations, is that being perceived as rude is so abhorrent to women that we need to make ourselves less obtrusive before we speak up. According to a 2010 study in the journal Psychological Science, “women have a lower threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior,” so are more likely to see a need for an apology in everyday situations. We are even apt to shoehorn apologies into instances where being direct is vital — such as when demanding a raise.

Sloane Crosley, NY Times Op-Ed

Read more here.

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