I know what you are thinking, “what does this ad have to do with Pantene hair products?” The answer is, “do not think about the product, but the message.” I have to applaud Pantene for bringing one issue to the forefront. As women in the workplace, we are still seen in a negative light no matter how equally successful we are to our male counterparts. In 2003, two professors one from Columbia University and another from New York University, put their heads together and experimented. Their result is now famously called the “Heidi/Howard” study.
The two professors split their classes in half and distributed a case study, which was the story of successful venture capitalist Heidi Roizen. The name in the story was changed to Howard in half of the case studies. The students agreed that both Heidi and Howard (who did not exist) were equally impressive and competent. However, the students “were less likely to hire or work for Heidi”. The conclusion: success in the workplace has a negative correlation for women, where it has a positive correlation for men.
Gender inequality still exists. Sexism is global. It is very unfortunate that half of the world’s population is still viewed “less than” the other half simply because they are women.