Analysis: To Be a Woman, Or Not To Be a Woman

Analysis of a recent study that found that women who believed in focusing on men’s and women’s similarities (“gender blindness”) felt greater power and confidence than women who advocated celebrating women’s distinctive qualities (“gender awareness”).

In a recent study from researchers Ashley Martin, an incoming assistant professor at Stanford, and Katherine Phillips, a Columbia professor, it was found that women who believed in focusing on men’s and women’s similarities (“gender blindness”) felt greater power and confidence than women who advocated celebrating women’s distinctive qualities (“gender awareness”).

The researchers’ conclusion: Women benefit when they downplay gender. An excellent interview with the researchers over at HBR (which lays out a lot of the key points of their research).

This research is interesting because it seems to almost directly contradictory to similar recent research around how large a part of a woman’s identity is actually that she’s a woman. It also highlights a key distinction between ignoring gender and deemphasizing it……

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