Uber's corporate problems illustrate gender inequality issues

C.J. Pascoe

When Arianna Huffington, a board member of Uber, said having one woman on a board can lead to more women joining, her colleague David Bonderman had a different idea: “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”

According to UO sociology professor C.J. Pascoe, this is just another example of the underlying issues of power imbalance and inequality between genders popping up. “This is something that’s threaded throughout a society, and that isn’t limited to any one company or one school or any one family,” she said.

She also explained how Western ideas of masculinity is predicated on dominance, so when men make sexist comments, “mansplain” or talk over women, they’re “proving” their masculinity by exercising that dominance. Younger men may give the impression that they’re different, but Pascoe said many of them have simply learned to avoid expressing sexist ideas in front of women, something that doesn’t really address the roots of the problem.

For more, see “The Science of Sexism: Why Workplaces Are So Hard to Change” on Live Science.

Pascoe, who teaches courses on sexuality, masculinity, social psychology and gender, came to the UO after teaching at Colorado College. Her book about masculinity and sexuality among high school students, documenting the relationship between homophobic harassment, heterosexism and masculinity, won the American Educational Research Association’s 2007 Book of the Year Award.