This week the Daily Mail reported that a survey by reed.co.uk, a recruitment company, had determined that Brits were happiest in their jobs at 32 and, when it comes to career happiness, people rate work-life balance as more important than salary.
Neither the Daily Mail's article nor reed.co.uk's original press release mentions that the survey was conducted in partnership with an impartial fieldwork supplier neither do either parties provide any details on who was interviewed.
If all reed.co.uk did was survey its own universe i.e. jobseekers who have registered with the site in the hope of finding a new job, then their results are hardly representative of all British workers. If reed.co.uk did ensure all British workers are represented by the research, why wouldn't they make that clear?
This week women across the twitterverse posted pictures of themselves, their daughters, and notable female scientists doing science alongside the hashtag #GirlsWithToys. The trend was kicked off by @KateClancy, herself a scientist, who was angered on behalf of her daughter and female students to hear an astronomer's assertion that scientists are "boys with toys".
Roche Life Science was quick to jump on the bandwagon:
Oh dear Roche! Did you forget the European Commission's ill-fated "Science - it's a girl thing" campaign? As men are entitled to refer to themselves as "boys", women can refer to themselves as "girls". Male dominated institutions, however, have no place referring to adult female employees as "girls". As Kimberley Fortier, publisher of the Spectator, points out "In personal relationships girl is great, but in the workplace stick with woman or female."
To paraphrase Clancy, every time we impose a stereotype on a role, we are placing limits on people. When Roche refers to its female scientists as "girls" or, as Merriam Webster defines girls, "a female child from birth to adulthood", it is effectively saying "adult women need not apply". Rising through the ranks at Roche clearly isn't "a girl thing".
I really, really want to quote this study by Mom Central Consulting to highlight the influence of mommy bloggers but where are the technical details? Did they work with a respected fieldwork partner or was this a survey of moms they knew? Did they make sure the sample was representative of all moms or were their respondents biased in some way? When was the survey conducted? How many people did they interview? Presumably the interviews were conducted online but there is no indication.
And what about their finding that 84% of moms visit blogs to "read authentic content about topics that interest them". Ever heard a mom use the words "authentic" and "content" in the same sentence outside of a marketing department? These questions were written from the perspective of the marketer, not the audience being surveyed.