December 1, 2020

Richardson Column in The Free Lance-Star

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

UMW College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson

College of Business Dean Lynne Richardson’s column in The Free Lance-Star explores ways women and men are treated differently during the interview process. Read RETHINKING RECOMMENDATION QUESTIONS.

DURING the last decade or so, we have been made aware of the disparities between men and women in senior roles in organizations. We have also read many articles and shared anecdotes about how men and women manage and lead differently. And who can forget “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” to explain differences between the genders?

The status quo has been challenged over and over. But we still have work to do.

For example, a female friend in a senior role at another university shared a story with me. Susan served as a reference for another woman. That woman, let’s call her Dana, was a finalist for a senior position at another university. Susan received the reference call from a man named Dave. During the call, Dave asked many of the standard reference check questions and Susan ably responded. And then Dave asked, “Do you think Dana comes across as very likeable?” Susan replied, “Well, what exactly do you mean? Read more.