It was just reported that business mogul Bethenny Frankel has already shot a pilot for an advice-based television show, but networks weren’t very eager to pick it up. After personally meeting with Frankel, many station managers felt that she came across as “too aggressive.” As a result of this, Frankel has hired a coach who would teach her things like “speaking more slowly and being nicer.”
Frankel is just one of the many women who is being told she needs to curb her aggression. Now Bethenny is being told this by network executives directly but most women are told in less subtle ways. New research shows that when female businesspeople are confrontational, confident or aggressive, they are often disliked while men are usually respected. Linda Babcock, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University, had women and men use the exact same script to ask for a raise and then showed videos of the conversations to others, asking for their opinions of what they had seen. Viewers thought the man deserved the raise and liked his approach, but the woman was “found to be way too aggressive. She was successful in getting the money, but people did not like her. They thought she was too demanding.”
Stanford Knowledgebase reports “Managing ‘masculine’ traits… can have a noticeable effect on success early in women’s careers. Even small differences in success rates at the beginning of one’s career have large long–term effects.” Frankel is now working with a niceness coach to tone down her harshness but isn’t the fact that she is a ball buster what makes her so appealing? Bethenny calls them like she sees them and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. As a public personality you think that would help her but even she is having trouble when it comes to selling her “too aggressive” personality to a network.