How Far Do Women Have to Lean In? check out some thoughts on this debate at the Big Think here, provoked by Sheryl Sandberg’s new book Lean In :
I like the iron triangle concept. Gender on the Agenda being hotly debated in my organisation at the moment. What worries me is the huge complexity around these issues… It’s not just about career paths and support to women as their social roles evolve through lifestages. It’s not just about women and men or male vs female… we also need to separate out the sex vs gender issues… explore issues around the masculine vs feminine, issues which may transcend the sex of those involved… organisational culture and leadership styles… and what sort of impact and role dimensions like generational differences might play.
We had a panel discussion with three senior members of staff the other day called ‘gender on the agenda: do we have a problem?’ which generated a lot of interest from staff spread around the globe. A lot of the discussion focussed around terms and conditions, the more practical support that organisations give to female employees. Nobody mentioned age or organisational culture and gender issues relating to generational differences. Really struck me listening to one of the panelists, as she talked about how for decades women had fought hard and made significant incremental changes, how foreign this may all be to our young graduates both male and female entering and changing the DNA of our staff profile.
Quite coincidentally, the night before I’d had a conversation with my teenage daughter about ‘feminism’. She came out with the line ‘all feminists are dykes’. Shock horror! Out of MY daughter’s mouth! Not sure where, when or how feminism and lesbianism became synonymous in my daughter’s mind. We’ve not talked much about this before and I always, I guess, just assumed she got it and was a feminist herself. Needless to say we had a conversation. So much of those early struggles and the achievements along the way seem to be taken for granted by new generations. In a way, it’s a positive thing if women’s equality is accepted as the norm by our children; can’t help but think though that we need to be more mindful of the changing face and perceptions of ‘feminism’ with new generations. Ensure we retain some appreciation for the women (and men) who fought so hard to get us this far and a recognition that the journey is not yet over.
It’s particularly evident in some markets and sectors that equality for women still has a long way to go. There’ve been quite a few items lately in my news feed relating to gender bias in science, including the gasp from the science world that the person behind ‘i fucking love science’ on FB is a woman! Seemed clear to me all along it was a woman… anyway, whoever’s behind it, I love ‘I fucking love science’!
A few interesting pieces on this issue of gender bias in science here… kinda makes a woman want to make a career change and go into science just to make a difference…