This article is an excellent example of the complexity associated with the executive world. There are no clear standards for executive requirements, but there are many unofficial rules in a state of constant fluctuation that affect men and women differently. One example is the ambiguous quality known as executive presence, which apparently plays a major role in the decision to promote or hire high-level managerial professionals. Women face a serious challenge when it comes to dressing “appropriately”, because expectations can change both on a person to person basis, and within individuals over time. Men are quite a bit luckier as the suit model has provided somewhat of a uniform guideline, but are still subject to poorly defined norms about appearance that influence the demonstration of executive presence.
Women are very obviously still hindered by gender biases in the executive world. The survey results show that current execs judge women on appearance with more scrutiny than men, which is clearly unfair. Additionally, females receive less feedback which demonstrates an opposition to assisting in their professional development. These ailments are likely remnants of a predominantly white-male system that will hopefully be eliminated with the decline of “old-minded” executives.
The most alarming part of this report is the confusion that is observable among current executives regarding the definition of communication. The discrepancy in responses about the process as a whole and specific examples like speaking shows that these people simply do not understand the concept. This level of ignorance is not surprising since these execs were probably hired for any reason other than skill at the position. Hopefully this issue will also be rectified as prejudiced influences are excised from the current business perspective.