Women in Positions of Leadership in Business Term Paper

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One of the most powerful people in tech, Susan Wojcicki got her start in Silicon Valley as one of Google’s first employees. She worked her way into a C-suite, and has been the CEO of YouTube for three years. Wojcicki led Google’s acquisition of YouTube in 2006, after which the value of the video sharing service skyrocketed to $90 billion (“Susan Wojcicki,” n.d.). With so few women in the C-suite in any sector, and especially technology, Susan Wojcicki would be an exemplary role model already. Yet her leadership during the infamous “Google Memo” incident shows how determined Wojcicki is to transform gender roles, norms, and organizational cultures in all business sectors.

Wojcicki started out as Google’s marketing manager and fought her way through the “boys’ club” of what is now one of the world’s biggest firms in any sector (Wojcicki, 2017). Whereas many would have quit in the face of rampant covert and overt forms of discrimination and harassment, Wojcicki pressed on. As she points out in an article written for Vanity Fair, explicit gender discrimination is easy to detect and to point out for its illegality. The real problem with sexism is the invisible, covert acts that plague women each and every day: being interrupted or talked over, being ignored, “working harder to receive the same recognition as your male peers,” having male peers rephrase your ideas, being equally criticized for being too nice and too stern, and “perhaps most difficult of all, not having peers who have been through similar situations to support you during tough times,” (Wojcicki, 2017, p. 1). The latter issue, the lack of women in positions of power who can serve as guides, role models, and mentors, is why Wojcicki’s leadership comes at such a critical time.

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More women like her need to remain strong in spite of the aforementioned types of small but significant forms of gender discrimination that collectively reinforce glass ceilings.

To promote gender equality, Wojcicki made hiring women a top priority of her firm. “Employing more women at all levels of a company, from new hires to senior leaders, creates a virtuous cycle,” whereby the entire culture of the company changes to respond to the needs of its employees. Men fit in well in male-dominated workforces, in workplace cultures that were created and sustained by men. Both men and women can fit in to….....

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Johnson, E. (2017). YouTube/s Susan Wojcicki explains why the ‘Google memo’ author had to be fired. Recode. 16 Oct 2017, https://www.recode.net/2017/10/16/16479486/youtube-susan-wojcicki-james-damore-google-memo-diversity-gender-kara-swisher-podcast

“Susan Wojcicki,” (n.d.). Forbes lists. https://www.forbes.com/profile/susan-wojcicki/?list=power-women

Wojcicki, S. (2017). Exclusive: How to break up the Silicon Valley boys’ club. Vanity Fair. 16 Mar, 2017, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/03/how-to-break-up-the-silicon-valley-boys-club-susan-wojcicki

Wojcicki, S. (2017). Read YouTube Susan Wojcicki’s response to the controversial Google anti-diversity memo. Fortune. http://fortune.com/2017/08/09/google-diversity-memo-wojcicki/

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