Race in the corner office

May 8, 2009
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Just when one hopes racial stereotypes are in retreat, along comes another study suggesting otherwise.

Now weâ??re told that black CEOs with â??baby facesâ?? fare better than black CEOs with more "mature"-looking faces when it comes to results at Fortune 500 companies.

However, the Northwestern University study showed, the opposite was true for white CEOs. Those with mature faces ran the better Fortune 500 companies.

Why? Study co-author Robert Livingston looks to long-known research showing baby-faced people are considered less threatening. In other words, study participants were more comfortable with baby-faced black CEOs because they looked more disarming.

Whatâ??s a baby face? One thatâ??s round, and has a larger forehead and full cheeks. Baby faces also have large ears, full lips and a small nose.

Is the study balderdash? Or does it reflect a subconscious racism still out there in the work place? Is there value in these studies at all?
ADVERTISEMENT
  • This reminds me of a standup comedy bit by Jerry Seinfeld. I think it goes something like this:
    How about that seedless watermelon, huh? What an invention right? I mean, scientists are actually working on this! Other scientists devote their lives to fighting cancer, aids, heart disease and these guys are saying, 'no, I'm focusing on melon.' Sure, millions are dying needlessly but this (spits out watermelon seed), this has got to stop!

    I'd like to point out that I am NOT implying that focusing on overcoming racial issues is a waste of time. I just think there are better ways of doing it. Why aren't these researchers finding out how a person's upbringing has an impact on their tendency towards racial stereotypes? What about their exposure to certain types of media (television, music, etc.)?

    I just don't see a lot of value in knowing that baby-faced black CEOs stand a better chance at success than their mature-faced counterparts. I will grant the fact that being aware of the issue may allow us to overcome it, but past that, I just don't see it.
  • Doug,

    forget baby face over more mature face. lets say that some people are being
    judge not based on can they do the work but based on gender and skin color
    today in 2009.

    so we can't get serious issues taken care of because those who are qualified,
    smart enough, and would love the opportunity to help find solutions to these
    serious problems are not getting the chance because they are being judged on
    the color of their skin or their gender.
  • Norm,

    As you so quickly deleted my previous post, perhaps you, like so many others, are quick to assume racism. In fact, as many need to be reminded, racism is when one wants to discount, hate, and hold back all those in a particular category, as in the case of all whom have black skin.

    What I cited had nothing to do with racism but was stricly a social issue. The word ax is used in black culture instead of the word ask. It is a problem for those that run call centers, for example, to attempt to correct because it is extremely difficult to change the culture. It is a problem society deals with because of culture and it can hold people back.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Kent's done a good job of putting together some good guests, intelligence and irreverence without the inane chatter of the other two shows. JMV is unlistenable, mostly because he doesn't do his homework and depends on non-sports stuff to keep HIM interested. Query and Shultz is a bit better, but lack of prep in their show certainly is evident. Sterling obviously workes harder than the other shows. We shall see if there is any way for a third signal with very little successful recent history to make it. I always say you have to give a show two years to grow into what it will become...

  2. Lafayette Square, Washington Square should be turned into office parks with office buildings, conversion, no access to the public at all. They should not be shopping malls and should be under tight security and used for professional offices instead of havens for crime. Their only useage is to do this or tear them down and replace them with high rise office parks with secured parking lots so that the crime in the areas is not allowed in. These are prime properties, but must be reused for other uses, professional office conversions with no loitering and no shopping makes sense, otherwise they have become hangouts long ago for gangs, groups of people who have no intent of spending money, and are only there for trouble and possibly crime, shoplifting, etc. I worked summers at SuperX Drugs in Lafayette Square in the 1970s and even then the shrinkage from shoplifting was 10-15 percent. No sense having shopping malls in these areas, they earn no revenue, attract crime, and are a blight on the city. All malls that are not of use should be repurposed or torn down by the city, condemned. One possibility would be to repourpose them as inside college campuses or as community centers, but then again, if the community is high crime, why bother.

  3. Straight No Chaser

  4. Seems the biggest use of TIF is for pet projects that improve Quality Of Life, allegedly, but they ignore other QOL issues that are of a more important and urgent nature. Keep it transparent and try not to get in ready, fire, Aim! mode. You do realize that business the Mayor said might be interested is probably going to want TIF too?

  5. Gary, I'm in complete agreement. The private entity should be required to pay IPL, and, if City parking meters are involved, the parking meter company. I was just pointing out how the poorly-structured parking meter deal affected the car share deal.

ADVERTISEMENT