The Same but Different

The FT, on the new Harvard boss, and gender. Of course.

Ms Faust said that leadership experts contend that the female management style, thought to be more collegial and involve more consensus-building, is particularly suited to running an educational institution. Her predecessor, Lawrence Summers, the former US Treasury secretary, resigned as Harvard president amid tensions with faculty over his sometimes blunt style and accusations that he had made comments questioning whether there are innate differences in intelligence between men and women.

I was directed to this wondrous quote, by the uncannily apt-at-identifying-mind-alteringly-absurd-statements, Andrew Potter. Who concludes, as only one could:

In other words: Larry Summers wasn’t particularly suited to be president because he suggested that there were innate differences between men and women; Ms Faust is more suited to be president because… there are innate differences between men and women.



I should just add that I also believed Summers’ comment was, ahem, ill advised. Not because he questioned innate differences between the sexes. I would not be tremendously surprised if science reveals that there are. Rather, it was his insinuation that this may have something to do with there being fewer tenured female scientists that was ridiculous. A position that would require completely ignoring the far greater influence, in this case, of nurture over nature.

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