Unsurprisingly, women continue to face an evolving intersection of problems at work

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In Bärí A. Williams’s book, “Diversity in the Workplace,” the author interviews leading women in their fields about shortcomings in workplace equity, and their individual experiences with adversity. Women are often subject to second-class citizenship as they work toward professional success. Even when they gain positions of power, women are regularly judged on everything from how “nice” they are to how willing they are to take on the emotional baggage of their colleagues. For many women, interactions with men in the workplace can be fraught with anxiety due to unequal pay, sexual harassment, and the struggle to champion themselves while remaining “likable.” Read Full Story

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How to ask someone in public to put a mask on—while avoiding conflict (and droplets)

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A compromise—when science is on your side—is not ideal. But maybe it’s better than getting coughed on. A man in northern Virginia (wearing an inflatable Trump tube) was charged with simple assault last week after purposely coughing in the faces of a group of women following a spat about mask wearing. The incident exposed the uncomfortable power imbalance between masked and maskless individuals in tight public spaces. Non-mask wearers have the ability to endanger you—as well as everyone in your bubble—simply by being close to you and subjecting you to potentially adverse droplets. And approaching those people, to ask them to cover up mouths and noses, can be, if not perilous, at least plain awkward. Read Full Story

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Why optimism may not be enough to carry us through times of crisis

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If leaders’ optimism and confidence matter more during a crisis than their actual talent and competence, shouldn’t we encourage leaders to fake positivity? Few suggestions seem more logical during a crisis than the idea that leaders ought to exude a sense of confidence and optimism. As Napoleon famously noted, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” The last thing people want when they face extreme adversity and need calming down is to see their leaders worry, stress, or melt down. Yet it seems reasonable to question whether displays of optimism are actually beneficial, or whether other, more critical attributes that coexist with optimism are more useful. Read Full Story

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