Harry Truman reportedly would get off an elevator if a woman got on it. I don't think it was discrimination, but rather he thought it too great a risk to be in a confined space without others around where he would find himself in a he said, she said situation.
Yesterday's widely covered resignation of Mark Hurd from HP due to legations of poor judgement in the context of mixed gender relations demonstrates that some sixty years and several waves of liberations later, the interaction of men and women in the workplace is still complicated and explosive.
As the father two incredible daughters, two individuals that are every bit as capable as any male, my response to the Hurd incident is disappointment. I am disappointed that one of the best performing CEOs in the tech industry got into this situation, and I am disappointed that my daughters may still have to deal with high profile men that will get off the elevator in fear instead of treating them as equals.
Here is the incendiary part: that still nameless woman, who when exposed to Mark Hurd's poor judgement did not get off the elevator herself, but instead continued to dig the hole deeper and then file a harassment case -- has participated in setting back the march towards gender equality -- no matter how justified she might be.