Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Persistent Myth of Female Office Rivalries

By:Andrea S. Kramer Alton B. Harris

The popular press is full of articles claiming women bully other women, spread malicious rumors about them, behave in two-faced ways toward them, and seek to undermine their professional standing. The problem with all such claims is that they are simply not true. In conducting research for our book, It’s Not You, It’s The Workplace, we could find no empirical evidence supporting the notion that women are more mean-spirited, antagonistic, or untrustworthy in dealing with other women than men are in dealing with other men. Indeed, the best recent psychological research finds that “one’s sex has little or no bearing on personality, cognition and leadership.” But, if there is no empirical evidence that women are inherently hostile to other women, why is this view so prevalent?

We believe the answer lies in a fundamental misunderstanding of why women sometimes have fraught work relationships with other women. It’s not because they have some unique, female psychological characteristic, it’s because of workplace discrimination.

Gendered Workplaces

Workplaces are gendered when they are led and dominated by men and operated in accordance with masculine norms, values, and expectations. In such workplaces, two powerful — if implicit or unconscious — biases can lead women into antagonistic relationships: affinity bias and gender bias.

Affinity bias is the natural, instinctive preference people have to associate with and provide support for people who are like them. Because of affinity bias, male managers typically consider giving women career-enhancing assignments, appointing them to important teams or including them in their networks only after the men in the office with whom they feel more comfortable.

Gender bias is the assumption that men are superior to women at leadership, high-pressure tasks, and difficult negotiations. Because of gender bias, women are seen as less competent, ambitious, and competitive than men.

Affinity bias and gender bias often work in tandem to make women’s same-gender workplace relationships difficult because they limit the number of positions for women at leadership tables, thereby forcing the people vying for those spots into direct competition with one another. The two forms of bias also create substantial, if not overt, pressure on women to adopt a decidedly masculine management style in order to identify with the male in-group and distance or differentiate themselves from their female peers. These dynamics can foster antagonism between women, which is then often wrongly attributed to their inherent nature, rather than to workplace circumstances.

Workplace Expectations

Women (and men) hold gender stereotypes about how women (and men) should behave. For example, women expect female (but not male) colleagues to be interested in their personal issues, concerned about their welfare, supportive of their desires, and more aware of and sensitive to their unique needs, wishes, and difficulties. In other words, they assume that other women will be “more understanding, more nurturing, more giving, and more forgiving than men.” And, when this fails to happen, they can react in antagonistic ways.

In high status, demanding careers, however, women (and men) are under pressure to be direct, assertive, and business-like and not to treat people differently because of their gender. Female executives are thus caught between the expectations of their workplaces and the expectations of other women, perceived as cold, selfish, hostile or antagonistic — while men who behave in precisely the same way are perceived to be simply doing their jobs.

Of course, some women are genuinely unpleasant, unfriendly, and adversarial. But there is no evidence that there is a higher proportion of such women than there is of men who act in a similar way. Certainly, there are not enough “mean girls” at in the workplace to justify painting all women with this brush.

Women and Men Are Not Different

As we noted at the beginning of this article, there is another reason to reject the caricature of women as inherently hostile to other women: the lack of any significant non-biological difference between the sexes. The differences that do exist are small, with more variation in temperament, ability, and behavior among women than between women (in general) and men (in general).

When women and men behave differently in the workplace, it is not because of different psychological characteristics but because biased practices and procedures result in the two groups having disparate workplace experiences. Women and men do feel, behave, and interact differently in the workplace because of the tasks they are asked to perform, the conditions under which they are asked to do them, and expectations as to how they will perform.

The caricatures of women as bullies or backstabbers who are inherently hostile to other women have nothing to do with their actual psychological makeup and everything to do with the stereotypes and biases they confront at work. Instead of setting up female rivalries, let’s fix those workplaces so that women are not systematically disadvantaged in their pursuit of career advancement.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Hispanics, Not Trump, Are the Biggest Engine Of U.S. Economic Growth

Over the medium-term horizon, Hispanic labor will become an ever more important source of US...+] Source: 
Written by: Mayra Rodriguez Valladares
Contributor Banking & Insurance

Over the medium-term horizon, Hispanic labor will become an ever more important source of US... [+] GETTY

In ground breaking research that has significant implications for U.S. policymakers and financial institutions, Peterson Institution for International Economics (PIIE) researchers found that “The Hispanic community in the United States has contributed significantly to US economic growth in recent decades and will continue to do so over the next 10 to 20 years.”

Gonzalo Huertas PIIE

Research Analyst Gonzalo Huertas and Senior Fellow Jacob Funk Kirkegaard, in their recently published working paper, The Economic Benefits of Latino Immigration: How the Migrant Hispanic Population’s Demographic Characteristics Contribute to US Growth, present an incredible diversity of quantitative analysis that proves that “The outsized contribution of Hispanic immigrants to US economic growth results from the quality of the workforce, not just quantity.” Moreover, in what goes against numerous unfortunate, negative stereotypes “Hispanic arrivals have exceeded contemporary native-born Americans and some other migrant groups in their entrepreneurial capabilities and integration into economically relevant parts of the workforce.”

Jacob F. Kirkegaard PIIE

Given the growth of Hispanics in the U.S. workforce, they represent significant market opportunities for every type of financial institution, including banks, insurance companies, asset managers, and fintech. Unidos US, a non-partisan Latino civil rights and advocacy organization projects that in five years, Hispanics will account for about 20% of the U.S. workforce and over 30% by 2050.

Hispanics will soon be 1/3 of the U.S. workforce
Hispanics will soon be 1/3 of the U.S. workforce UNIDOUS

Huertas’ and Kirkegaard’s research shows that “the increase in Hispanic labor could contribute around 0.21 percentage points to annual real GDP growth in the United States over the next three decades if the Hispanic community catches up to the rest of the country in labor productivity.” By 2025, the increase in employed Hispanic labor could contribute more to US GDP growth than non-Hispanic labor.

Projected contribution to GDP growth from changes in employed labor PIIE

Huertas and Kirkegaard also found that Hispanics are the largest demographic group in new opportunity entrepreneurship. "While the US economy has exhibited gradually declining economic dynamism in recent decades, and the share of new firms being created each year has fallen in a trend accelerated after the Great Recession, foreign-born and Hispanic populations have become engines of US entrepreneurship, especially since the Great Recession.” The growth of the Hispanic population and the relatively younger composition of the Hispanic community are key factors driving entrepreneurship developments. Other factors, such as a decline in the historical gap between the Hispanic unemployment rate and the national average, would also contribute positively to this trend.

US rate of new opportunity-driven entrepreneurs, by ethnic group and Hispanic origin, 1996–2016 PIIE

“One issue that we raise, in light of higher opportunity-driven entrepreneurship rates,” said Kirkegaard “is that the Hispanic community needs ample access to financing and business services to facilitate growth of their businesses. It certainly would seem an obvious case where non-banks and fintech innovation could play a role.”

Unfortunately, Hispanics, often struggle to obtain credit. According to Sabrina Terry, UnidosUS Senior Strategist of Economic Policy Project, Policy and Advocacy, “Entrepreneurs still struggle to access credit. They may end up at a predatory lender. If they cannot get a loan, they will end up with a non-bank with a loan with a much higher rate.” Part of the problem she explained, is that many Hispanics’ largest expenses, such as rents and mobile phone payments, often do not appear in a typical consumer credit report. “Financial institutions need to learn about other metrics, alternative data, to better understand the credit worthiness of Latinos and that show that they are responsible and can pay back their debt,” said Terry.

Sabrina Terry, Senior Strategist UNIDOSUS

When I discussed the PIIE research with financial advisors at Stamford-based Fifth Street Advisors, Partner and Co-Founder Abelardo Curdumí, observed that “It is interesting to be able to corroborate what we have already been observing anecdotally. In our wealth management business, we see a robust demand for our services from Hispanics who are both professionals and entrepreneurs. They have the same aspirations as the rest of the population and they need the same sophisticated financial planning to manage, conserve and grow their wealth.”

Abelardo Curdumí, Partner and Co-Founder FIFTH STREET ADVISOR

Of great importance not only to Hispanics, but also to the whole country, Huertas and Kirkegaard found that “Hispanic high school graduation rates have risen from just over 60 percent to almost 90 percent in the last 20 years, reaching levels just below the currently historically high US average high school graduation rate of 93 percent.” However, Hispanics “have ground to cover to catch up with the US average in attaining higher education degrees.” Curdumí stated that “A definite common thread is Hispanics’ healthy respect for education regardless of where they come from or whether they are immigrants or born in the United States. This is acquired from parents who are willing to forgo everything as long as the children have access to a good education. We see that this high value on education continues to be passed on to the next generations.”

Other important demographic factors for financial institutions are that Hispanics are having fewer children, which can mean, more disposable income for these individuals. According to PIIE, “even when the recent declining Hispanic fertility and net migration data is taken into account, the community will still account for the majority of the contribution to GDP growth from labor input in the future, a finding that underlines that it is important to continue fostering increased labor productivity among Hispanics. The continued numerical growth of the Hispanic community makes it imperative that their positive trend in educational attainment be sustained and strengthened to include the highest tertiary levels of education. Only then can the Hispanic community reap the full demographic dividend and convergence in wage levels be achieved.”

US assumed and actual life expectancies 2014, 2016, and 2020, at birth and at age 65 SOURCES: US CENSUS BUREAU (2014) AND CDC (CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION) (2018).

Importantly, the life of expectancy of Hispanics is higher than that of other demographic groups. This poses good opportunities for financial advisors who work providing financial services, such as retirement plans, insurance, annuities, and long-term care plans. According to Huertas and Kirkegaard “higher levels of Hispanic opportunity-driven entrepreneurship than among the rest of the US population, emphasizes the importance in securing the community full access to financing and other business support crucial to grow start-up businesses to scale.”

Business Symposium presentation at the University of St. Thomas Houston (UST) about "Successful Consulting: Turning your passion into profit"

Learn about the reality of entrepreneurship, the importance of learning what problem you are solving, and having a personal advisory support group. Then, I talked about the importance of determining your company vision, mission and values, of having a realistic money talk to achieve profit & Productivity. Finally, I close with: Can you have it all? Passion, purpose & profit.

Soledad Tanner. MIB

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Four common tax errors that can be costly for small businesses


A small business owner often wears many different hats. They might have to wear their boss hat one day, and the employee hat the next. When tax season comes around, it might be their tax hat.

They may think of doing their taxes as just another item to quickly cross off their to-do list. However, this approach could leave taxpayers open to mistakes when filing and paying taxes.

Accidentally failing to comply with tax laws, violating tax codes, or filling out forms incorrectly can leave taxpayers and their businesses open to possible penalties. Using IRS Free File or a certified public accountant is the easiest ways to avoid these kinds of errors.

Being aware of common mistakes can also help tame the stress of tax time. Here are a few mistakes small business owners should avoid:

Underpaying estimated taxes

Business owners should generally make estimated tax payments if they expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when their return is filed. If they don’t pay enough tax through withholding and estimated tax payments, they may be charged a penalty.

Depositing employment taxes
Business owners with employees are expected to deposit taxes they withhold, plus the employer’s share of those taxes, through electronic fund transfers. If those taxes are not deposited correctly and on time, the business owner may be charged a penalty.

Filing late

Just like individual returns, business tax returns must be filed in a timely manner. To avoid late filing penalties, taxpayers should be aware of all tax requirements for their type of business the filing deadlines.

Not separating business and personal expenses

It can be tempting to use one credit card for all expenses especially if the business is a sole proprietorship. Doing so can make it very hard to tell legitimate business expenses from personal ones. This could cause errors when claiming deductions and become a problem if the taxpayer or their business is ever audited.

Cameron Business Symposium November, 22 2019 Speakers

Cameron Business Symposium November, 22 2019 Schedule