What's Really Holding Professional Women Back?


Pam Anderson

Via Rebecca Adams at The Huffington Post, here's another explanation for why there are so few high-powered women in corporations, politics, media and other traditionally male bastions. And it's not because they want more balance between work and family than men, as I wrote recently. Nor is it because, unlike men, women only take on assignments that truly interest them, not to please someone or make a name. No siree. It's because they spend their whole day thinking of fashion. In fact, notes Adams, women think about fashion four times more than men think about sex in a day:

Online retailer Very.co.uk surveyed British women to see just how many times from sunrise to sunset their minds wandered from the task at hand to fashion, taking into account things like window shopping, perusing online retail sites, noticing a stylish item and even simply daydreaming about that dress you should have bought during Kim Kardashian's eBay sale.

We already know that lipstick names seep into our conscious more than we thought, but apparently 11 percent of British women think about fashion more often than they think about friends, family and work. Rebecca Elderfield, Very.co.uk Style Director said in a press release, "For many young women fashion is so much more than a casual hobby or mild interest – it's a way of life, and the results of the survey confirm that."

A way of life is right. According to the study, a fashion thought manages to creep into women's minds for an hour and 19 minutes every day. That means that every 11 minutes and 23 seconds a woman stops to ponder style. Also noteworthy is the clothing item that tops the list: dresses. (Not shoes?)

Concludes Adams:

With all of this hard time spent pondering fashion, it's a miracle that women are able to find the time to order lunch, let alone climb the political ladder or become an executive at a global company.

So true.

But now that we know what's preventing women from assuming their rightful place in the patriarchal power structure, here's a possible cure: Create workplaces that cause men to think about sex as much as women think about fashion.

Government subsidies for X-rated posters of Pamela Anderson in offices, anyone? That might be a parity scheme even men might get behind!