Gini Dietrich

Women’s Equality: It Starts with Us or it Stays an Illusion

By: Gini Dietrich | February 21, 2013 | 

A couple of weeks ago, Sam Fiorella wrote an interesting blog post called, “Under-Representation of Women in Corporate and Political Offices.”

In it, he discusses how women make up more than half the population in the United States and comprise nearly 47 percent of the jobs, yet less than 20 percent hold executive seats in either boardrooms or political offices.

When I commented on the post, I talked about how, while some men are beginning to stay home to be the caretakers, it’s not what comes naturally to them. It’s not yet societally acceptable for men to work inside the home, raising kids and taking care of a house.

Think about it from your perspective.

When you hear about someone’s partner who is a stay-at-home dad, what’s your first thought?

I can almost guarantee it’s not a good one.

Because of cultural norms and even because of good, old hard wiring, we tend to be the ones focused on raising kids while our male counterparts work outside of the home. Not all of us (I certainly am not that way), but a very high percentage of us.

We Let Up When it’s Time for Promotion

In May 2011, Sheryl Sandberg – the COO of Facebook – gave a commencement speech at Barnard, an all-women’s college. During the 20 minute speech (which is well worth the watch, if you haven’t already seen it), she talks about why women aren’t given more leadership roles and why we still don’t have equality.

Her reasoning? We tend to let up for promotions when we think it’s time to get married and again when we think it’s time to have a baby (or babies). Not when we do those things. When we think it’s time.

Women almost never make one decision to leave the workforce.  It doesn’t happen that way.  They make small little decisions along the way that eventually lead them there.  Maybe it’s the last year of med school when they say, I’ll take a slightly less interesting specialty because I’m going to want more balance one day.  Maybe it’s the fifth year in a law firm when they say, I’m not even sure I should go for partner, because I know I’m going to want kids eventually.

I tend to agree with her. I’ve run a marketing communications firm in Chicago for nearly eight years and I’ve found the exact, same thing with the young women in our office. Which, by-the-way, is extremely frustrating for this leader who provides the flexibility most women want.

It’s not our fault. It’s ingrained. It’s natural. It’s in our DNA.

Women-Owned Businesses

But there’s good news coming out of National Association of Women Business Owners and about the state of women-owned businesses.

It turns out the crazy economy of 2008-2011 created a reason for women to take matters into their own hands: Eighty-five percent of those surveyed predict more women will start businesses this year.

And, for those who already run businesses, 81 percent are optimistic about growth this year and 74 percent are confident about the economic outlook of their organizations (I concur).

Of course, this doesn’t speak to equality or women in the c-suite for the Fortune 10 companies or in the top branches of political office. But it does mean more and more women are contributing to the health of our economy through job creation, innovative products and services, and getting closer to the elusive work/life balance.

We’re Our Own Worst Enemies

But there’s a secondary problem.

This past Sunday, Danica Patrick won pole position at the Daytona 500. During her interview she said she doesn’t want to be the best female racer; she wants to be the best racer period.

And then the jokes lit up my Facebook and Twitter streams.

She won “pole” position. She’s hot. People made jokes related to strippers. And I threw up in my mouth a little.

It wasn’t just men. Women were playing along, too. I don’t know if that’s out of jealousy and being catty or if some of us really believe it’s okay to take away a big achievement from a woman by making jokes about her dancing on a pole.

I’ve written before about how we’re our own worst enemies. We’re hardwired to be mean to one another. But that doesn’t mean we have to be.

Women’s Equality

If we truly want equality in the workforce. If we truly want to be in the executive suite. If we truly want to be the very best at our job, not the best woman, but the best overall. We have to stop letting these things happen.

We have to stop taking our foot off the gas pedal when we think we might be getting married or ready to have babies. We have to stop buying products from companies that use sex and women to sell. We have to stop allowing jokes to be made about other successful women.

It starts with us. We have to lead the change. If we don’t, we’ll continue to moan about how it’s not fair and it’s not equal while nothing changes.

A version of this first appeared on the Sensei Marketing blog.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • YES!
    I’m a Danica fan and I couldn’t agree more.
    Did you know that before she switched to NASCAR, her old circuit (F1?…obviously I’m not a huge fan or I’d know), but they changed the rules to make the weight of the car include the driver. She weighs less and that helps performance compared to her male counterparts, but they have more muscle mass and it is grueling sport, so I figured it equaled out. They didn’t want it to equal out and the massive weight they had to add to her car, to make up the difference, really hurt her. It made me mad.
    I love tennis, especially the majors. Why are women’s rounds only best out of 3 sets, while the men play best of five?
    I know there have been many times a great women’s match has ended and I’ve felt cheated. I’m sure they put in the exact number of hours training and would have no problem playing 3 out of 5.
    Also, I love ISU Women’s basketball. Many years ago, when I worked at Hilton, some of the women would stay and play pick-up games. It was fun, even if us guys on the janitorial staff were in way over our heads. These women always wanted to play with the men’s ball. I think it’s time to change that, too, at least at the college level.
    Women’s sports rock!

    • @ExtremelyAvg A few years ago, I got one of those all-day driving classes where you can drive a stock car on the track. First, it was FREAKING AMAZING. I was driving 168 mph. Amazing. But you know what they told us? Women are better drivers because we listen, we think about where the car is going to go before it goes there, and we don’t get angry. The instructor said, “Watch what happens. If you don’t follow my rules, you won’t get up to the high speeds. If you do, you can get up to 170 mph.”
      I was the only one in the class who got to reach the highest speed.
      Your thing about tennis is the same for golf. Why are the women’s tees closer than the men’s?

      • @ginidietrich  @ExtremelyAvg Now I want to go drive race cars with Gini, not just ride bikes with her 🙂

        • @Erika Napoletano  @ExtremelyAvg IT WAS SO FUN!

      • @ginidietrich Whenever I’ve played with women who golf in college, they play from the “tips”. It is only in competition that they are forced to move up. Great point!

        • @ginidietrich On another note…all-day driving…so COOL!
          Oh, and to back up your point, being from the auto-insurance business, women are charged less because they get in fewer wrecks from 18-25. It evens out after that.
          In health insurance, they are charged more, not because of sexism, because they have the potential to give birth (not an inexpensive endeavor)..and some do it multiple times. If guys bore the children, we’d say “fuck it, I’m done.” And thus, less exposure to risk.
          It is just math.

        • @ExtremelyAvg LOL!!

  • Quite frankly it ticked me off. As the mother to 3 girls, I am doing my best to raise them in a “no boundaries” environment. There is nothing that I won’t let them try – they need to figure out for themselves if they’re good at it and if they like something. And then, I get to turn them into the world where they’re met with conflicting messages of “you can’t” and THIS! this is what you’re supposed to do! This is how you should look. I could go on and on.. it’s a common theme on my personal blog. And you’re correct in the double standard. I have a few friends that are SAHDs and I think nothing of it – I love it and it’s just as normal to me as SAHMs. But people, please stop judging others. You never know what ears are around absorbing your negativity and opinions.

    • @KristenDaukas I have a friend on Twitter who is a rabid NASCAR fan. She hate Danika with a white hot passion. I don’t understand why.

      • @ExtremelyAvg  @KristenDaukas It might be because women are hardwired to be catty and mean. It’s in our DNA to tear down other successful women. You have to actually work very hard not to do it. It has to be a very conscious and constant action.

        • @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas That sounds awful. Do you think it is a global phenomenon? Or is it American women?
          I ask because of the book, “Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety”. I read it, though I’m not really the target demographic, because of a fantastic review in the Washington Post. Great book!
          In it she demonstrates how American Women are nuts and French women have children without hating themselves. (I paraphrase, of course, but that is the gist and she makes a strong case)

        • @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas Admittedly, women ARE horrible to one another in many regards. But I like to think we’re also incredibly gracious to one another as well. It takes a certain self-confidence to look at ANY other human being and appreciate their success, beauty, and accomplishments without feeling threatened. And I’ve always thought that what people say about someone says more about them than it does the person in question.

        • @ExtremelyAvg  @KristenDaukas I think French women also get to breastfeed in public and drink wine and not have anyone look down on them.

        • @ginidietrich  @ExtremelyAvg  @KristenDaukas I breastfeed in public and could give 2 craps what anyone thinks.

        • @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas The thing that I remember most from the book is French women don’t feel guilty about EVERYTHING. The stories of the self-abuse the women from the U.S. put themselves through, because of their competition with other mothers (cattiness) was horrific.
          The French women feel that if they are happy in life, their children will be better served. At least, that was the author’s perspective.
          I lived in Lyon for one summer in 1995 and I saw much of what she discussed, so it seemed reasonable to me.

        • @katskrieger  @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas Yes, but it you stop at six months or a year and the neighbor continues until age six, (or vice versa) will there be cattiness between you two?

        • @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas Maybe because I live in New York, I am jaded or care less about the neighbors. My youngest is 19 months and I still breastfeed her. But I didnt always feel so comfortable. I felt ashamed with my oldest daughter and self-conscious. Once I realized it was some bs view society was putting on me and decided I was going to do what felt right for both of us. 
          On the business side, I work in a company that is 80% women if not more and shockingly it is not a catty workplace.

        • @katskrieger  @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas I guess my point was, I’ve seen women on twitter fighting between the stop after so many months and go until fiver or six year crowd. They seem to be missing the point you just made, that it should be natural.

        • @ginidietrich  @ExtremelyAvg  @KristenDaukas I disagree with a whole bunch of people I guess. Humans are awful to each other in general, and I think that’s expressed in variety of ways.
          I don’t buy the “women are catty and never forget but men can get angry and have a beer afterwards” thing. I mean, I buy it that occurs , but I don’t believe that’s some DNA / genetic hardwiring, I think it’s a social construct because of the roles we are taught to fulfill.

        • @JoeCardillo  @ginidietrich  @ExtremelyAvg  @KristenDaukas I am with you there, Joe. I think men do lots of grudge holding, and women do lots of “talk it out now”. At least the women I choose to keep around. And the men I choose to hang with can also talk feelings like big boys without having to punch or drink. I do not at all believe it is DNA. My mother did a wonderful job of raising me to be aware of this stereotypical tendency in women from a young age. She would not tolerate catty talk or snark in her house. She always taught us that someone else’s success and beauty in no way impacts your own.

      • belllindsay

        @ExtremelyAvg  @KristenDaukas Because she’s hotter than a cat on a hot tin roof.

    • @KristenDaukas I can’t figure out why we do this. I mean, it’s like your blog post about average sizes for women. WHO CARES? There is NO discussion about average sizes for men. My husband can take a long weekend to Jamaica with me and eat everything in sight and think nothing about it…and neither does anyone around us. But if I were to do that? I can just hear what people would say… “Where does she put it all?” “If she keeps eating like that, she’s going to get fat.” Drives me freaking nuts.

      • @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas You women are really sucky to one another. As I said, below, I love tennis. It is well known that on the tour, the men’s locker room is filled with a bunch of guys who, for the most part, like each other and play x-box between matches.
        In the women’s locker room it is all individuals who won’t talk to one another.

        • @ExtremelyAvg  @KristenDaukas So common. We’re really awful to one another. Guys can get mad at one another and then go have a beer. Women get mad at one another and never forgive or forget.

        • @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas I seem to have a lot of strong opinions for 6:53 in the morning, but on the subject of “sizes”, what the hell is up with that?!
          I used to answer phones at JCrew and I once got to talk to a model who’s mother had been one of the original women for Richard Avadon (First Fashion Photography Editor…EVER) She herself was a world class model and her daughter became one, too.
          She was delightful to talk to, and though she was one of those customers that we were suppose to transfer to “special” helpers, she said she wanted to stay with me, so we chatted. (Hard to imagine, me getting chatty, I know). She tried on a dress that her mother had worn on a Vogue cover back in the day. It was a size 10. The woman wears a size 2, today.
          The fashion industry keeps lowering the numbers because they think you’re stupid. Seriously, size double zero…sick bastards!

        • JenniferGoodeStevens

          That’s not limited to arguments between women. 🙂 My husband and I have a fight and yell and he’s over it. I’m still mad the next day maybe, or at least by dinner when he comes home all, “Honey, I’m home!” Shut yer pie hole, man. I’m still pissed.

        • @JenniferGoodeStevens Shut yer pie hole, man. LOL!!! It’s true.

        • @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas Not all. Please do not paint us all with that brush. Some of us celebrate each other’s successes.

        • @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas Yes vanity sizing is really weird.  My mum has been known to tell people that if they are a size zero, that means they don’t exist (which is sizeist too, but also funny).

      • @ginidietrich It starts with us and we have to teach our young people. Whether they belong to us or not. We also have to push back on what society says (ahem.. marketers) that we should all be like. It’s probably the reason I don’t have a ton of female friends.. I don’t play that game.

      • rdopping

        @ginidietrich @KristenDaukas suck it up buttercup……..naaa, tell THEM to suck it. The problem also lies within us. People will always talk.

      • @ginidietrich  @KristenDaukas OK, People are only saying that because you are a wee little pocket angel, G. I mean physically where does the food go?

    • @KristenDaukas Yes, yes and yes! Mom to 2 girls and they are at home with their Dad during the day (though in our case ‘at home’ means he is taking them on city-wide adventures 5 days a week).

  • Just heaving this out there, and I know it won’t be popular. Do you feel that any of this backlash comes from her participation in racy ad campaigns for GoDaddy? Having been on the receiving end of people thinking they have license to say whatever vulgar stuff they do to/about me on account of my digital love for the f-bomb, having tattoos, etc., I feel there’s a connection.
    Is it right? Not in the slightest. But repeated incidents in my world led to a rebranding — and in my case, for the better. Danica’s talented AND gorgeous (heavens to Betsy). And there will always be those who feel that people of certain genders don’t belong in certain roles. But there’s a part of me that feels that she bears a responsibility for her own marketing image — and the associated backlash. Her talent is worth more than the degrading ads she participates in for her sponsors — and as a Danica fan, I’d love to see her embrace her image as a driver, professional, and icon in the world of racing as opposed to the image she currently puts out.
    But then again, I’m sure many people have thought the same of MY image over the years. And before anyone comes back with a rancid thought that I’m saying “she’s dressed that way so she was asking for it” argument — think of it from a PR angle. If you had a client with ONE visible marketing image who wanted to be perceived and something contrary to that image, consider the conversation you’d have. Now — let fly the dogs of war.

    • @Erika Napoletano You might be right about backlash, but anyone who has decided to hate her for her looks, is wrong.  Endorsements are part of the business of professional sports.
      It is poor business not to pursue streams of viable revenue. I’ll not be getting any modeling gigs, but if middle-aged, balding and short every catches on (I’m sure 2014 is the year) I’m all over it!
      Admittedly, I first clicked on your blog because of your appearance. I’ve returned because of the writing. You get one click for cute, you get repeat customers for talent. Nothing wrong though with getting that first click.

      • @ExtremelyAvg I’m not at all saying leveraging her looks is a poor business play. I’m just saying the WAY she’s leveraged them has to be taken into consideration.
        And thank you for the click, the read, and the return. I’ve delighted in having you in my community for several years now 🙂

        • @Erika Napoletano Admittedly, I’ve not done a good job of commenting. Still, it has been fun watching how you’ve grown. I could learn a thing or two.

      • Walker Thornton

        @ExtremelyAvg  @Erika Napoletano Endorsements are part of pro sports, but not many of the men are promoted for their looks. I have to agree with Erika that Patrick allowed herself to be objectified as a hot chick–that doesn’t and shouldn’t negate her talent.

        • @Walker Thornton  @Erika Napoletano Actually, male CEO’s are disproportionally taller than average.
          An investor in Canada built a portfolio of successful, but unattractive and short males, figuring they had to work harder. I wish I could remember the name, but it has performed at levels that rival Warren Buffett.

        • HowieG

          @ExtremelyAvg  @Walker Thornton  @Erika Napoletano I agree with you Erika. The reason Alex Rodriguez has the nickname Gay-Rod is the spread he did in GQ shirtless giving himself googily eyes in the mirror. And as Brian said he got paid who cares. Being someone with tattoos and ears pierced I am well aware that if I see certain possible clients the earrings might not be over come by a sharp suit. When I worked in uptight aerospace/military industries engineers would be looking at my ear (at the time only one was pierced) because they could see a little hole but weren’t sure. And wonder how many might view earring = gay? It is ridiculous and talent does trump everything usually.
          I guess with Danica the Go Daddy Ads make her a hooters girl. It is was just revelon and estee lauder and louis vitton that she looked sexy for none of this would of been an issue. But I bet her ublicist said ‘Your fans are hooters good old boys cheap beer drinking rednecks’ which is the nascar image for good or bad. Maybe just a poor PR person?

    • @Erika Napoletano I don’t disagree with the image she has created for herself. I imagine some of it was done due to counsel of very expensive experts who said, “This is your audience.” And let’s be real, we all know who the NASCAR audience is. But come on. Making stripper jokes when she wins pole position? It’s too far. She’s made some sexy ads. She’s a gorgeous woman. It doesn’t make it okay to degrade her accomplishments because of that. Not only is she the first female driver to do this, she beat freaking Jeff Gordon. Let’s let her have the accomplishment without calling her a stripper. No one would do that to a guy.
      Look, I’m all about using your assets in business. I know when I speak to a roomful of men, what gets their attention. But my brain and my experience keeps their attention. Do I wear heels that show of my cycling calves? Absolutely. Do I wear skirts that show off where my quad muscles have split? For sure. Does that mean they can make stripper jokes about me when I win? Not a chance.

      • belllindsay

        @ginidietrich  @Erika Napoletano @margieclayman Erika, as you and Margie have both said, I think it’s true that women use their best assets (and yeah, she does have’em – rawr!) when promoting themselves. I also follow the line of “If you’re in the public eye, and make a living appealing to and off of the public, then don’t complain when you get teased/dissed/insulted or your garbage gets picked through (in Hollywood, for example).” Is it fair? Of course not. But it’s part of the (very lucrative) territory. And no one is going to convince me that it doesn’t happen with men also. Look at Oscar Pistorius – he’s a massive star and has (er, had) a bazillion dollars worth of sponsorship deals *partly* because he’s a very handsome guy. I’m not devaluing his impressive story. But he’s a hunk too. That helps. 
        My husband is *IN LOVE* with Danica. It’s a long standing joke in our household. And yes, even I made a pole joke. But it wasn’t a stripper pole I was referring to. Heh. I’m so impressed by what she’s achieved in her career – I can’t even IMAGINE doing what she does. But she uses her looks to her advantage also. You simply can’t have it both ways.

        • @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @Erika Napoletano  @margieclayman I got out of bed because Lindsay told me to. This is a very worthwhile conversation because so many excellent points are being made by women, that if made by men the collect ‘net would quickly run to ‘sexism’ comparisons. 
          Like Erika said: Danica is in power of her own ‘branding’
          Like Gini alluded to in the post: I never really looked at it in the “way women/men are wired” mentality…but when you made the comment Gini about ‘stay at home Dad, what is your first gut response’ (I’m paraphrasing a bit) .. I was shocked by my own first gut reaction. It wasn’t pleasant. 
          Such a great conversation. Such an interesting topic.

        • HowieG

          @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @Erika Napoletano  @margieclayman i think it comes down to is no one says she can’t be a kickass racer and a sex symbol. It is her chosen vision as a sex symbol of a red neck hooters stripper vs a classy elegant model that seems to be the kicker? No one says these same things about Elle or Julia Roberts or Jennifer Aniston (at least not in my social circles)

      • @ginidietrich  @Erika Napoletano I thought you wore heels because you were 5’2″. I’m 5’10”, and I wore them religiously when I was in the carpet industry because towering over a tall man was a great equalizer, or at least it changed the dynamics.  I did NOT, however, show cleavage or flirt with them in a sexual way.   It is FINE to be attractive, it is not ok to sell your sex and then complain when people objectify you.

        • @AmyMccTobin  @ginidietrich  @Erika Napoletano And if I may point out, if you care about being attractive because it makes YOU feel good, then go for it. I’ll never be accused of overgrooming, but I like being good to myself and anyone should be able to do that without being slung in the mud. As you pointed out Amy (and I think others too) that’s not exactly what Danica is doing.

    • @Erika Napoletano I think the backlash is because she wants it both ways.  I don’t complain about the playmate-girlfriend chicks. I don’t want my daughter to BE one, but I understand that they are trading in the easiest currency they have….  but not pretending to be feminists.  Danica wants it both ways – to do ‘naked’ commercials but yet be treated like ‘one of the guys.’

  • PattiRoseKnight

    I have been fighting the women’s rights movement since the 60’s; I’ve seen women do the exact same job as a man when I worked at a large PR firm but get paid substantially less – fair? no it’s not but it’s the way it is.  
    And, people are cruel.  People compare our president to Hitler and make jokes about President Lincoln’s assassination.  So I’m not surprised what they said about Danica – like I said people are cruel that is just a fact.
    The good news is that my grandmother told me stories about when women couldn’t smoke cigarettes in public and couldn’t vote.  We’re getting there but it’s been a long, long road that’s for sure.  Don’t give up that’s what they want us to do!!!!!

  • margieclayman

    It’s hard for me to feel bad for Danica Patrick after her ads with GoDaddy. This is a problem I see a lot of women bring upon themselves. “I don’t want to be treated like a woman, I want to be treated like a person. Why do you look at me as just a sex object?” Then they do commercials like the ones she and Jillian Michaels did. You can’t have your cake and eat it too in these cases. If you want respect you have to earn it. If you want to be treated as a person with substance, you have to ACT as a person of substance.
    You know my spiel on the rest of your post from over in Sam’s neighborhood 🙂

    • @margieclayman You sell me short. I respect her greatly. I respect all world class professionals in any sport.
      Just because someone markets one of their positives, in this case, attractiveness, it doesn’t mean that all people will only see that aspect. Some will, I grant you, but would you respect her more if she chose to be stupid and turn down a huge financial opportunity?

      • margieclayman

        @ExtremelyAvg I’m not sure how that’s selling YOU short. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to accentuate your positives. I’m just saying if you want people to recognize you for your skills and not as a sex object, you need to accentuate your skills and not your sexitude. If you accentuate your sexitude, that is what people will think you want to be noticed for, and they’ll happily oblige.

        • @margieclayman  @ExtremelyAvg Hmmmm see I just don’t understand why sexitude and competency can not happily coexist. Were her Go Daddy ads trashy? Yes but that’s what the peeps wanted. So she happened to win two lotteries- looks and skills. Personally I think that gets a “You go (daddy) girl!”

  • rdopping

    What a crazy world. Because I am a man (debatable from my wife’s perspective, I’m sure) it is infinitely more difficult to understand a woman’s perspective. Sure, I KNOW what you are talking about but haven’t lived it. It’s the same as racial inequality. Until you FEEL it you can’t really understand it.
    The pole position thing is an eventuality, in those situations, that is going to be difficult to beat. Maybe chalk that up to the gear heads that are into that sport. Oops. Did I just profile? Darn, didn’t mean to. The most caring, open-minded, intelligent, worldly types of people might be huge NASCAR fans and just like the “old boys clubs” out there likely still see “the best man for the job” as the way it is. 
    It’s sad really.
    The fact that Danika is “hot” has nothing to do with her racing ability but it sure does give her curb appeal. I wonder how the media reaction would be if she looked like Shane MacGowan? Different debate, I know.
    Ability (skill) should be the only real yardstick. With the ability to “work anywhere” these days doing the work shouldn’t really matter anymore. We need to get out of the 1950’s mentality already and take a look at the the reality of the “modern family.” If mom’s got the chops then mom’s got the chops. Simple as that.

    • @rdopping First of all, your description of NASCAR fans made me laugh out loud. Secondly, amen. AMEN!!

      • rdopping

        @ginidietrich I aim to please.

  • Ladies and Gentlemen. It has been a fun start to this blog post. If I wrote my novels as quickly as I was banging out my rants, I’d be able to crank out one per week.
    Now, I’m off to bed. You’re all smart, beautiful and should each be getting endorsement deals for your girlish good looks…especially Ralph.

    • @ExtremelyAvg You haven’t been to bed yet?

      • @ginidietrich No, I’ve been really sick and sleeping 20 hours per day for the last three days. I think the illness has broken, but my sleep pattern is a bit messed up.
        The sun is up. Shrug and sigh.

        • @ExtremelyAvg Holy cow! I’m so sorry. I didn’t know. Go back to bed!

        • @ginidietrich It’s okay, I’m past it now. I really wanted to go to sleep around 4 am, but it didn’t take. I think I’ll try again. This has been a blast though. You have such delightful readers.

        • HowieG

          @ExtremelyAvg  @ginidietrich make sure you drink warm milk and have a maple dount Brian you will slee like a baby!

        • @HowieG  @ginidietrich Thanks. That is very sound advice.

  • HowieG

    First yes Danica winning the pole is a HUGE boon for Women’s Equality.
    But she sabotages that with her sexist misogynist Go Daddy spots.
    You want equality. Danica wants women to be nothing but sex objects in my opinion. In fact wasn’t she married? Did she ditch the guy for someone more famous.
    This is a sensitive subject to mesh sports with out of sports behavior. I can never root for her. Because she does promote the women as strippers persona.
    While you know I hate Sheryl Sandberg and feel she is unethical in her business practices. I can at least say she brings equality because so many men are unethical why should women be any different. But maybe that isn’t the kind of equality women should be shooting for?
    Curious your thoughts.

    • HowieG

      if people would be truthful it would be great to know how many readers come here partially because you are an attractive woman and businessperson. Can we open a research arm of Arment Dietrich?

      • @HowieG @belllindsay Going to look for your comments Linds, but we have talked around this in the past too. And for me it comes down to this- yes, first impressions count, and if they are purely physical, well, that is going to happen.  So should Gini, should Danika, not accept any business that comes their way for being gorgeous? Yeah I know G hasn’t done any saucy ads (yet…), but if someone is lucky enough to be gifted with giant brains and incredible beauty like G, should they be penalized for it? Honestly I believe it is even harder for a woman to get any credit for her mind when she is also easy on the eyes. Because no matter what I say on here, my customers are 79% middle aged men. And my territory is up nicely in the double digits. And I am really great at my job. So if they are happy and I am happy and boss man is happy, what does it hurt that they also think I am beautiful? Who has been hurt here? Except the competish…

        • @RebeccaTodd  @HowieG  @belllindsay I get what you’re saying. And maybe I’m from a different generation of men, but it just doesn’t do it for me. I pay attention to my reactions, and I won’t pretend I don’t notice a good looking woman, but over time I’ve learned to notice good looking men as well and remind myself that it’s just one small piece of information and not a reflection of someone’s passion, work ethic, or character. I think we’re all better off when we focus on those things.

        • HowieG

          @JoeCardillo  @RebeccaTodd  @belllindsay here is the bizarre thing. I have been around many male managers who would chose a hot employee over competent. And plenty who have chosen incompetent male over kickass female because they thing she will get pregnant and not come back. I wish that wasn’t true.
          The real problem is SEX f*cks everyone up. I mean how many people have torched their lives over sex? I think that trumps greed. So people who ‘have the looks’ usually use them (male or female).

        • @HowieG  @RebeccaTodd  @belllindsay You’re right Howie, I’ve seen it too. I had a former manager who stocked my team with young, blonde women. Most of them were awesome people but you didn’t have to be a genius to see what was going on. But it doesn’t have to be that way, because once we say yeah, this is what’s going on and it’s not right, and then act on that, we can change the paradigm.
          I work with mostly women. Sometimes stereotypes arise. Sometimes the stereotypes are driven by the women on my team and they re-enact (often rigid) gender constructs. The way I deal with it is to stop and think about what’s going on, and then think about how to address individual personhood, and not gender. Oh sure it’s easy to look at a seemingly petty dispute between women as a “catfight” but I’ve seen men spar over the same meaningless stuff too and I refuse to do anything other than hold someone accountable as an individual. We have to take our own medicine, because as anyone knows talk is cheap.

        • @JoeCardillo  @HowieG  @belllindsay Ahh yes I put myself through Uni working in bars- those “hiring on looks” policies do not always get you the best talent. But in the corporate world, my female boss did get chewed out by her boss at a drunken event for hiring three young women in a row (me included) who would now all “take time off” to have their kids. This was the same environment that spurred women to take a 3 month mat leave instead of the year we are granted. 
          I love your comments about the whole “catfight” thing. It really pisses me off. Men bicker about silly things too! 
          And are we better off to focus on aspects of job performance? Yes. But we are biologically hard wired to notice the physical side too. And I don’t think we should slag people who are comfortable in their own skin and have a bid ol’ brain.

      • @HowieG I can honestly say that I first started reading Spin Sucks without knowing who the author was – and frankly didn’t notice for quite a while. I was attracted solely by the awesome name of the blog. After following and becoming a huge fan of the thoughts and ideas, I finally got to know Gini. I have so much respect for her as a businessperson and thought leader. The fact that she is a woman doesn’t surprise me, because women are every bit as smart and capable as men.

        • @Karen_C_Wilson  @HowieG They were probably my posts you loved so much 🙂

        • @AmyMccTobin  @HowieG Of course. And @ginidietrich too. It would be very odd if I didn’t give her credit on her own blog. 😉

    • belllindsay

      @HowieG Completely agree Howie – see my comment below @Erika Napoletano ‘s below.

    • @HowieG I had a raging disagreement with a smart friend of mine on FB over this very thing; Danica is a hypocrite at best.  He didn’t ‘get it.’ Thought it was her right to sell her sex. Yeah, but she can’t have it both ways.

    • @HowieG  Interesting, but I wonder if you feel that David Beckham or Michael Jordan sabotaged their successes?

  • To answer your question – “When you hear about someone’s partner who is a stay-at-home dad, what’s your first thought?” I’m actually curious what kind of job the woman has. I think it’s awesome that couples are switching those roles. I like/agree with what @rdopping said, “If mom’s got the chops then mom’s got the chops. Simple as that.”

    • @yvettepistorio  That’s kind of my point. We don’t hear that mom is staying at home and think, “Wow. I wonder what kind of job he has?” It’s all backwards!

      • @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio See my comment below. I had never thought of it this way Gini — but it wasn’t good. My first thought / gut reaction to the male side of the equation. It was “dude your wife is out-earning you? that has to stripe a little bit of your manhood.” 
        But for the woman staying home to raise the family aka “homemaker” … not a single bad connotation was felt in my gut. The word: Expected came to mind.
        And I’m not a sexist. At. All. 
        ^I was shocked.

        • @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio Wow thanks for being honest, Ryan! Perhaps because I’ve always taken care of myself, but when I hear a woman is a stay at home mum I do think “wow! What the hell kind of job does HE have?” And if I hear a man stays home, I think “Damn! Lucky woman.” But as G and I have discussed before, having someone in the “wife” role would be pretty sweet for me right about now.

        • @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio My first thought: Rad. How’d you decide who the stay at home parent was / what kind of agreement did you figure out?
          I have a friend who’s wife is a professor, he’s a PhD candidate, they both work massive amounts and share kid time pretty equally. For me, that is the model I would follow if I ever had kids. But that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The whole POINT of feminism originally (if I may be so bold) wasn’t to SWITCH gender roles, it was to deconstruct them so that people could do whatever they truly felt called to do.
          So while I think it’s good you were honest Ryan, I also think you got some really good information just now about your perceptions and I hope you run with it!

        • @JoeCardillo  “The whole POINT of feminism originally (if I may be so bold) wasn’t to SWITCH gender roles, it was to deconstruct them so that people could do whatever they truly felt called to do.”- GOLD!

        • belllindsay

          @RebeccaTodd  @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio First thing I think Rebecca: wow, he must be a doctor/lawyer/banker/etc.. That’s terrible isn’t it??

        • @belllindsay  @RebeccaTodd  @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio Or… they must eat a lot of spam and bologna.

        • @AmyMccTobin  @belllindsay  @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio Yes! My reality is, even in the couples I know, both work. I tend toward the other direction, to be as honest as Ryan was- when I see a woman that chooses not to work, it baffles me. I am rather career driven and of course do not have kids, and I always think yikes what about their career?

        • PattiRoseKnight

          @ryancox  @ginidietrich  @yvettepistorio Ryan you are not alone – it’s learned behavior that will take a long time to change.

      • @ginidietrich Ok, I see that it’s backwards. Maybe it’s because i relate to the woman more…IDK, but now I’ll probably think a little differently after this post/conversation thread!

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @yvettepistorio  @rdopping I think the reason they don’t switch roles most of the time is not the stereotype but instead because men are paid more than women.

  • Katherine Bull

    I think it’s awesome. My brother-in-law did it with their first son for nine months and he loved it. I don’t view it as unmanly or that there’s anything odd about it. In some cases, the woman earns more money so it financially makes more sense. And, some dads I know really enjoy being at home more with the kids than the mom.

  • Jennifer Goode Stevens

    I know several. Fortunately, they blog. It’s awesome to see men handling the baby/little kid minutia that isn’t minutia to the kids because they’re, you know, 23 months old.

  • Kelli Matthews

    I think I couldn’t do it without him. My partner is a stay at home dad and he’s amazing.

  • Lara Wellman

    I will completely admit to doing this. I wanted a family and now have three young kids.  The desire to work my way up the ranks to a job that would require me to work insane hours while trying to raise a young family….  I just didn’t want that.  I’m now building up my business on my own terms (and honestly, some of my feelings may have come from always wanting to work for myself 🙂 and by the time my kids are older I expect to be working a lot more intensely than I am now.  
    For now I want both my husband and I to be available and flexible enough to have family time. So maybe I just want everyone to slow down, not just the women 😉 I think everyone should get equal opportunity and equal pay for all jobs, I just understand why a lot of women don’t go that route.

    • @Lara Wellman I think that is entirely fair – I don’t work like I did before my daughter, BUT, it should be a choice for each family… not the way it has to be.

      • Lara Wellman

        @AmyMccTobin  Oh, I absolutely agree!  I also think that I’ve been lucky enough to have never worked in an environment where I felt my chances of success were less because of my gender.  I know that definitely isn’t the case everywhere.

  • Kevin Grout

    Well, I’ve been a stay-at-home dad for the past four months after a layoff, but that comes to a halt next week. I greatly admire men (and women) who choose to stay home. It’s no easy task, that’s for sure. And caring for our world’s most precious resource is no small order.

  • Perception becomes reality. That starts between one’s own ears – Danica Patrick can be forgiven (somewhat) for trading on her looks, given that’s the currency that women have been taught to use first for millennia now. I think @Erika Napoletano and @ginidietrich are correct in observing that Danica’s made her own brand-bed based on “expert advice” from those who see her core audience as NASCAR nerds.
    However, as something of a female gear-head (lived alone on a sailboat for 12 years, and have a tool-set that would make Tim Allen jealous), I’ve never been a big fan of Danica’s, largely because she’s playing the “I got tits!” card. Both Lynn St. James and Shirley Muldowney own those appurtenances, too, but neither of them played that card. Without their track-blazing work, Danica’d be stuck in a permanent pit-stop.
    Madeline Albright said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” That includes not falling for the bullshit, and not buying into stereotyped brand messages. I still have one outstanding bit of business with GoDaddy, which will be terminated within the next 30 days. We owe it to our daughters, and our sons, to put our money where our mouths – and our beliefs – are. Hypocrisy ain’t purdy, nor has it ever been.

  • I agree with much that’s been said here – we do derail ourselves, women can be awful to each other and so on.  As with most societal & cultural changes, it comes slowly.  When I started working, I was regularly called “sweetie” and “honey”  and there were very few women in power positions.  Times have changed a lot from what they were, but I don’t believe we’ll reach the summit on this huge mountain women have been climbing until and unless the prevailing attitude is at least an acceptance of Women in the Boardroom & Men in the Home.
     @PattiRoseKnight your comments reminded me of when I was a kid. The town tavern had a Ladies entrance & a Gentlemen’s entrance and the “Ladies” were not expected (allowed?) in the bar area.  
    Many men trade on their looks, too and I have no problem with Danica do so.  Unfortunately, there always have been and will always be people who make inappropriate (stupid, immature, etc.) comments.  The key is that those who don’t agree with them should speak up against them.
    PS – @belllindsay … @ginidietrich wrote “I threw up in my mouth a little”  :0

    • @lizreusswig  @PattiRoseKnight  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Nice analysis!

      • @RebeccaTodd  @PattiRoseKnight  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Thank you!

    • belllindsay

      @lizreusswig  @PattiRoseKnight  @ginidietrich Don’t fire me because I’m beautiful, Gini. 😉

      • @belllindsay  @PattiRoseKnight  @ginidietrich My guess is that won’t be the “official” reason, but….   😉

        • @lizreusswig  @belllindsay  @PattiRoseKnight  @ginidietrich You will let me know when Lindsay’s position becomes available though, right?

        • belllindsay

          @RebeccaTodd  @lizreusswig  @PattiRoseKnight  @ginidietrich Hey Rebecca, step down sistah!! 😉

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @lizreusswig  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich Most of my true education came from listening to stories from my grandma and great-grandma.  an education that could never be taught as well with books that’s for sure.

  • In Canada, we have this beautiful one year maternity/parental leave that we can take as a mother and even share with the father. I balked when my husband said he wanted to take the last three months of parental leave. I wanted that time for ME and our baby. Then I realized that I wasn’t being fair to him. He was handing me on a silver platter the one thing I have always dreamed of – an involved father for my child. So, I went back to work early. I’ve supported (as a cheerleader) my brother through his time as a SAHD. Fathers who stay home do so much good for their children – the same as mothers who stay home. It makes me so happy to live in a world where dads are proudly staying home with their children.
    As a woman in the workforce, Sheryl Sandberg’s comments have forced me to really examine my choices throughout my years of working. It’s an uncomfortable AHA moment when you realize she’s absolutely right. I delayed leaving jobs that were going nowhere for years because I knew that I wanted to have kids and I wanted “job security”. Finally, one day I told a co-worker that my desire (or the accidental event) to have a child is no reason for me to put any other part of my life on hold. Men don’t, so why should I? 
    Getting married and having a family seems to be this lovely little carrot hanging from a stick that we chase with everything in us and then one day we realize that we’ve bypassed so many wonderful opportunities in search of a delicious carrot that would have been really good had it been included with the rest of the meal.
    I don’t have any desire to be in a Fortune 10 or even 500 C-suite and I never did. I finally started chasing the full meal last year when I started my own business with @Lara Wellman . Nothing I’ve done in my career up to this point has been nearly as satisfying or fulfilling.

  • OMG do I have 8 billion things to say on this. Here’s my outline:1. I was pissed at Danica NOT because of her wanting to be seen as a driver only, but because she says THAT – YAY! and then does those crappy Godaddy ads that objectify her as a sex object.2. I cheer for stay at home men, but when I tried that with my partner when my daughter was born because I was the bread winner with a thriving career, it ended up that I was STILL expected to do the lion’s share of the housework. We were both miserable. We hired a nanny.3. Our generation is buying into the crap that ‘it’s over:’  It’s not over until we are represented in Corporate America fairly, and until we’re earning equal pay for equal work.
    4. It’s our responsibility: I have so many female friends who complain about the lack of women mentors above them, but who in turn don’t act as mentors to those below.I love this post. Thanks for writing it.

    • @AmyMccTobin +100 million to “it’s not over.” Cause it’s not. And that bothers me to no end, we need diversity in business to thrive.

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @AmyMccTobin YES!  Right on Amy!  As long as there is breath there is hope!

  • I have been learning from the comments as much as from the blog.  What is interesting to me is how when male drivers are labeled as sexy, we don’t even blink. It doesn’t ruin their credibility and they have been promoted in this regard for decades.  Carl Edwards’ 2006 ESPN pose is sexier than anything I’ve ever seen Danica do.
    We are our own worst enemies.

    • belllindsay

      @jolynndeal And helloooo? Dario Franchitti….!!?? He can drive my car any day. LOL

      • @belllindsay  @jolynndeal And my eyeballs thank you.

        • @RebeccaTodd  @belllindsay  @jolynndeal Mine, too!  And I’m sure any of these guys would be happy to rip their shirt off for GoDaddy’s $! 😉

        • rustyspeidel

          So…what are we saying? Men aren’t offended by objectification and women are, or they aren’t offended because they have many other options for validation, or what? I think men love to be worshipped. But I don’t think we’d appreciate it if it was all there was. Wow, I just answered my own question!
          @lizreusswig @RebeccaTodd @belllindsay @jolynndeal

        • @rustyspeidel  @lizreusswig  @RebeccaTodd  @belllindsay  @jolynndeal Hah nice Rusty!

      • @belllindsay  @jolynndeal I’m not sure I buy this “we are our own worst enemies” unless by “we” you mean “humans”. I believe that our male friends are just as involved in this notion that a woman can’t be hot and smart and competent.

        • @RebeccaTodd  you are right! It’s not women as we, it’s definitely both genders.  But I think Gini hits the mark saying change will have to start with women.

        • @jolynndeal The teacher in me is bringing all of this back to self-confidence.  If all people were more confident with themselves and happy with their role in life, would we have to sling such petty jealous barbs?

        • @RebeccaTodd  @belllindsay  @jolynndeal Re: “a woman can’t be hot and smart and competent.” 
          God I want to make a smart ass remark but I know I’d be paying for it for a long, long time…

  • Pingback: Girl Power Anthems « Rockstar In Training()

  • One more thought on this. Why don’t we discuss what to teach our sons more often? As you know, I’m raising two young men and I find it CRITICAL to discuss with them the messages they get and the ways to understand what’s ok and what’s not. For example, around 2 years old, my little one started announcing what was for boys and what was for girls. Soccer, for example, was for boys. Um, what!? At that point I realized they get these types of messages from all over the place. I started looking for ways to highlight amazing women AND men doing amazing things. And then I realized that my working – and being my own boss, which they think is awesome – is the best example I can give them of this. (It also helps I have a great husband who supports this message, too.) We talk a lot about differences and what makes people unique. Our dinner table is filled with discussions about how all these people put together make the world go round. The other thing I stress is that we are incredibly fortunate to have these choices. Many, many women (and men) don’t have the choices we do. I believe all of these messages start REALLY early. Otherwise, the things we don’t say play just as much a role as what we do.
    *climbing down from soapbox now*

    • @jeanniecw Love this!

      • @RebeccaTodd Thanks! I guess I got a little fired up. 😉

        • @jeanniecw  @RebeccaTodd with good reason Jeannie. The problem would not exist if people had been better parents.

    • @jeanniecw The most important place a woman can start affecting change… in her own house.  Great thoughts.

    • @jeanniecw I don’t even have to write my own comment now because you said it perfectly. What makes people unique is exactly what we should focus on.
      Have you read this —> “How to Talk to Little Girls”
      I share it at least a few times a year. It’s awesome advice for all of us to think about how we are enacting social structure. (Admittedly I always feel weird Googling for that article by title, like I’m gonna suddenly show up on some ahem, government map all of the sudden = )

      • @JoeCardillo Like you’re not already on some list! 😉 Great share. I have read that and it’s so good!

      • Silveraindr0ps

        @JoeCardillo   This is one of the best articles I’ve read in some time. Thank you for sharing.

        • @Silveraindr0ps YW, please pass it along, it’s a message we could all hear more often

      • PattiRoseKnight1

        @JoeCardillo  This is a brilliant article.  I shared….if everyone did this – well maybe there wouldn’t be the need for this blog subject.

        • @PattiRoseKnight1 No kidding. And I’d add that it takes consistency and honesty to call ourselves out on how we are responsible for creating social structure at work, at home, and elsewhere.

    • belllindsay

      @jeanniecw A few years ago, my son called me “the Oprah of my industry” – LOLOL!! Because I get to talk with people a lot…? It’s very social…? Cracks me up to this day.

      • @belllindsay Ok, L’Oprah. 🙂

        • belllindsay

          @jeanniecw Like you, I try and teach him about gender equality, treat all people as equals, yadda yadda – but man at almost 14 there is SO MUCH more now that he is influenced by. I hope I’ve done a good enough job with the baseline. 🙂

        • @belllindsay I am not looking forward to the preteen/teen years. Every study out there says they are more influenced by their peers than parents, but having that baseline is so important.

        • rustyspeidel

          @jeanniecw @belllindsay

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @jeanniecw Jeannie you are so right – I have 3 sons and it’s crucial the old way of thinking about women be taught at home.  Then when they experience narrow-minded people they have a solid foundation.

      • @PattiRoseKnight A solid foundation…easier said than done, right? But I keep trying. 🙂

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @jeanniecw I have 3 boys too and you’re right; children will hear mixed information outside the home but if there is a solid foundation in the home they will be able to cope with the negativity.  Who knows our children could be the ones to change everything and own a company that employs women in the C-suite.

  • ronnyzoo

    @RebeccaAmyTodd Demand? God, ain’t that just like a woman.

  • DallasK

    I think everyone knows womens brains are smaller than mens.  It’s science…look it up in any anatomy book.

    • @DallasK Gee, dude – troll much?

      • DallasK

        @MightyCaseyMedia Yes.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    This blog topic is my favorite so far!  I have to work and am going to read all the comments later when I can relax and read at my leisure.  Great blog GINI!!!

    • @PattiRoseKnight Thanks! And right?! I have to come back later, too. After our webinar and my SME webinar this afternoon.

  • Gini Dietrich

    My mom always told us that staying at home with kids was the hardest job there is. I believe it.

  • I am glad you are continuing to write about this issue. I will say what I have always said with a twist. Nontraditional gender involvement in all things will improve the quality of everything. I would happily debate this with anyone who disagrees with that assertion. I truly long for the day where we are oblivious of gender, ethnicity, religion, socio economics, etc… I resent the way we are conditioned to analyze and categorize one another. We are fearful and judgmental creatures by nature and while there is a logical reason for it to a degree the real manifestation is complete overkill. The bottom line is we have a lot to overcome and anyone working to improve that has my support.

    • I think I need a copy writer, hah – where = when, I think. Speaking of where, where is jasonkonopinski when you Ding-Dang need him?

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @hackmanj You are so right Joe!

  • ginidietrich

    @ktyhurst Thanks Kristin!

  • focuscom

    @ginidietrich While I agree with your post, to some degree the Go Daddy ads are part of the problem. Not saying that’s right, just a fact

    • ginidietrich

      @focuscom I agree, but I don’t think the ads make it right.

      • focuscom

        @ginidietrich Absolutely not!

        • ginidietrich

          @focuscom I made this point on FB: David Beckham does underwear ads and no one calls him a stripper. It’s a double standard

        • focuscom

          @ginidietrich Yep, agreed. Not sure why we need these types of ads anyway.

        • focuscom

          @ginidietrich There’s nothing about the Go Daddy ads that makes me want to buy a web address. Just sayin

        • ginidietrich

          @focuscom I’m writing a book and have an entire chapter dedicated to how to sell without sex

        • focuscom

          @ginidietrich Yay! Good for you – surely there’s got to be a way!

        • ginidietrich

          @focuscom There is! It’s just not as quick or easy. It’s like running a sprint vs a marathon

  • Katherine Bull

    Agree, Gini. I think some people – men and women – are wired differently in this regard. I know many stay at home moms who absolutely love it. I know myself well enough that if I were a stay at home mom, I would be in the loony bin within 30 days.

  • colleenrkennedy

    RT @ginidietrich Women’s Equality: It Starts with Us or it Stays an Illusion via @spinsucks

  • ginidietrich

    @PRCog Smooches!

    • PRCog

      @ginidietrich anytime! =D

  • ginidietrich

    @inspiredcat Thanks Caitlin!

  • ginidietrich

    @KristenDaukas xoxo

  • JefferyBialek

    Another great post Gini…while attitudes s l o w l y change, I can’t agree more how important it is to challenge stereotypes on both sides of the issue, to work tirelessly toward the places you want to get to, all while supporting those who are trying to do the same in many of the ways you suggested. As someone who has always felt more drawn to working inside the home rather than climbing the ladder, I’m fortunate to be married to a woman who is extremely career driven, yet still thrills to her role as mother. Even as we’ve found a great balance in our lives and roles, I still see the skepticism and disdain when I share that I work from home…even though this means I have a full time career working ‘from’ home which also allows me to participate in more of the domestic and childcare responsibiiltes. As far as the Danica jokes go, that’s a tough one…though her racing accplishments should be heralded for what they are, it is difficult to not make the connection with her work on surely some of the most degrading ad campaigns of all time for godaddy and run wild with the comparisons. Another less mean, less titillating example might be McKayla Maroney who seemed to be more recognized for her “not impressed” look than her overall achievements in the 2012 London Olympics (though I know she helped to perpetuate the craze as it grew.) I often wondered if there would have been the same reaction and explosive response if it was a male athlete in the same situation.

    • PattiRoseKnight

      @JefferyBialek I work for home and have an 18 year-old it’s not as hectic (I’m sure) than than younger children but I go non-stop some days.  I think the stereotype of moms staying at home is changing but we’re not there yet.  I’m confident we’ll get there eventually!  No skepticism or disdain from me!

  • ginidietrich

    @JefferyBialek Thank you, kind sir!

  • katierosenberg

    @ginidietrich Excellent piece!

    • ginidietrich

      @katierosenberg Thanks Katie!

  • Etiquettemoms

    Really interesting post with some GREAT conversation: MT @ginidietrich Women’s Equality: It Starts with Us or it Stays an Illusion

  • KyleAkerman

    Last night Andy @Crestodina and I had dinner with a young attractive female lawyer. She claimed that when pitching ideas to new people she had to first mention that she had her JD in order to be taken seriously. Furthermore, she is thinking of starting a business and feels that she needs an MBA to be taken seriously. 
    In both situations she felt that men would not have to have such advanced degrees. But in her case the degrees were necessary qualifiers to offset the fact that she is an attractive lady.  
    Is this really what still goes on?  So sad.

    • @KyleAkerman  @Crestodina Yeah no kidding, it cuts both ways. When you give it some thought, it’s the same kind of problem…..hyperactive focus on one fairly insignificant detail, which a person can’t really do much about.

  • ginidietrich

    @junemackweb Thanks, June!

  • ginidietrich

    @MightyCasey Man…some people, though. I got called “full of feminist garbage”

    • MightyCasey

      @ginidietrich anyone who called you that is a fuckweasel.

      • ginidietrich

        @MightyCasey LOL! So many reasons to love you!

        • MightyCasey

          @ginidietrich =D

    • MightyCasey

      @ginidietrich oh, and lemme guess: the fuckweasel was *not* a dude, right?

      • ginidietrich

        @MightyCasey Oh he was a dude

        • MightyCasey

          @ginidietrich OK. Still a fuckweasel. Who lets the wrong head do the thinking.

  • ginidietrich

    @MatthewLiberty LOL! Thanks Matt!

    • MatthewLiberty

      @ginidietrich More than welcome Gini!!! 🙂

  • >> “It’s not our fault. It’s ingrained. It’s natural. It’s in our DNA.”
    Seriously, if I had written this about women… would some people have jumped all over me? 
    By the way, great post and discussion.

    • @barrettrossie I just got a private email about that very thing. What I meant was that we are hardwired to be the caretakers. Men are not. It’s natural for us to want to put our wings around our babies and protect them. Men can do it, but it’s not as natural as it is for women. It’s more a learned skill for you.

      • @ginidietrich I understand and agree. But after participating in discussions of women in the workplace for many years, I just know if a man had written that, he would have been taken to the woodshed. Maybe not by you, but by a lot of people. I have scars from living in San Francisco. 🙂 
        And just to be clear, I agree that in advertising and in design, women are way underrepresented at the highest levels.

        • rdopping

          @barrettrossie  @ginidietrich Not in Interior Design. It’s quite the opposite. Not really the best place for a guy’s guy to make it to the top of the heap.

      • @rdopping There are LOTS of women in advertising and design. They just don’t seem to make it to the top as often as they should. I was doing some long-term contracting for an agency a couple of years ago that has some really great female talent. Went to a big client meeting in San Diego, with one of those huge conference rooms. Probably 14 people around the table.  The only female was the client’s marketing director.

  • Gini Dietrich

    I’m with you, Katherine. I did not get that part of my mom’s genes.

  • Katherine Bull

    A little off-topic. There’s another side of this that is not a popular opinion: Some kids do much better being in daycare. Mine did, at least. She is social and liked being around other kids. I played with her and gave her loads of attention but the minute she entered daycare at 10 weeks, she slept better, ate better, and was a happier child. I honestly don’t think that she would have done well if I were a SAHM, even with playdates, Mommy and Me, etc. Every kid is different, of course, but I know that daycare was the right thing for her.

  • MatthewLiberty

    @dabarlow Thanks for the RT Denise! Good stuff from Gini as usual! @ginidietrich #Women #Business

  • Jennifer Goode Stevens

    janey was so sociable from day 1 that i decided early on that she was going to have a sibling if we could make that happen. thank god it worked out, or this introvert would’ve been in the loony bin trying to meet her needs. i realize that path isn’t logical for everyone, tho.

  • emitoms

    Women’s Equality: It Starts with Us or it Stays an Illusion via @jkcallas @ginidietrich

  • KevinVandever

    My daughters used to say “Girls rule, boys drool”. I don’t think it explains anything discussed in the post or the comments, but there is some significance to the statement.

    • @KevinVandever Well…

    • belllindsay

      @KevinVandever Funny, my son and his friends said the opposite. 😉

      • @belllindsay  @KevinVandever I have one of each flavors, myself and yes, I’ve heard it both ways too!

  • ayanabaltrip

    True. RT @secretsushi: Women’s Equality: It Starts with Us or it Stays an Illusion via @ginidietrich”

  • 3PlusInt

    RT @eGlobalLearning: Women’s Equality: It Starts with Us or it Stays an Illusion #Women #Equality

  • Aimee West

    I stayed home with my children until the youngest was 3ish…then I ended up with a really great job and my husband worked for a year out of state only coming home every few weeks…after about a year of that we decided it was better and in all reality more cost effective for him to stay home. That was about 15years ago and he got a lot of negative response about it. Our kids have really turned out great because of it and they were able to go on many different adventures that I never would have taken them on.

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  • “It’s time for women to stop being politely angry” ~ Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Prize Winner….
    I agree completely. And seriously? Nothing is more disturbing than women OR men thinking those rude comments (like the pole comments) are in any way appealing or funny, IMO.
    And because you pretty much said it – We HAVE to lead the change. Starting right this minute, if some have not already… NOW, I’ll add another quote that means a lot to me.
    “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” ~ Maya Angelou

    • @AlaskaChickBlog I got beat up pretty badly for this post. I wish I hadn’t written it.

      • margieclayman

        @ginidietrich @AlaskaChickBlog

      • @ginidietrich  @AlaskaChickBlog You got beat up, how? When I left, back at the beginning of the 200 comments, it seemed like everyone was on your side. Did it change?

      • margieclayman

        @ginidietrich @AlaskaChickBlog aw don’t say that, Gini. It’s a tough topic, and because you are a high profile woman (sorry but it’s true) your thoughts about these touchy topics are weighed heavily. I haven’t read all of the comments but if people went bonkers I am sorry to hear it. BUT – don’t say you shouldn’t have written it. I am proud of you for doing so. It’s an extremely important conversation.

        • @margieclayman  @ExtremelyAvg  @AlaskaChickBlog It won’t prevent me from writing about the topic again (I’m super fired up about Marisa Mayer saying no one can work remotely), but it’s a little raw right now. I got emails, DMs, FB messages…some guy told me I’m full of feminist garbage. I was called a “kiss-ass clown.” It’s been a little rough.

        • @ginidietrich  @margieclayman  @ExtremelyAvg  @AlaskaChickBlog   Don’t you DARE Regret this post!!!!  You are my hero for doing it.  And the feminist garbage came from my right wing nut job ‘FB friend’ who spews his hate everywhere.I think you’re being beaten up because people start reading it and INFER that you are blaming it on men… and you’re not. It’s a call to action for us to ASK for more, for what we deserve.  Don’t you dare back down on these ideas.  And look how many people supported it!!!!!

        • @ginidietrich  Gini, love, I am sorry they hurt your heart but your mind knows this is an incredibly important topic. AND anyone with sense and a brain that can read, understands this is a call to action towards women…. not a ball-busting-tournament.
          You are in the eye of the people…. and I know from my own personal experience (snicker) that it is easier to take a shot at the biggest target.
          (I had to make sure my tiny little girl-brain had it right…) “Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.”
          Umm…where’s the nasty-man-hating-garbage in that? Is it wrong to want any flavor of human to stand proud and offer what they have to the world? (No, I didn’t think so.)
          And as for the name calling… well, it isn’t allowed, so they have to send it privately because we ALL know it isn’t permitted and wont be allowed to smear anyone.
          You are the least kissy-faced-clown I have ever had the pleasure to get to know and learn from, my friend. (And see? I feel I can call YOU that, because really….the word they were looking for was “Lady”.)
          Hang tough. Go for a ride or ski and breathe. Anyone who has ever had the honor of meeting a “Lady” knows there is steel where the rest have marrow….

        • rdopping

          @ginidietrich @margieclayman @ExtremelyAvg @AlaskaChickBlog Gin, you of all people know you need to take the good with the bad. It takes strength to step forward or stay forward when everyone else steps back. For that I applaud you. You take risks. That more than most will even contemplate.

        • AlinaKelly

          @ginidietrich  @margieclayman  @ExtremelyAvg  @AlaskaChickBlog Name calling? Seriously? No one who expresses themselves so crassly towards another person is worth listening to. You can agree to disagree but there is no need to resort to personal attacks. 
          I for one am grateful you shared your views on this important subject. I’ll be sharing and discussing your post with my daughters. I want them growing up in a world that is respectful of their choices – whatever those choices happen to be. The thought that anyone would disrespect my daughters for their achievements is sickening. 
          Thank you for writing this Gini. It’s by talking about these subjects that we create awareness of issues. We can only fix the things we know are broken.

        • @AlinaKelly  @ginidietrich  Thank you, Alina, for saying that… I shared that same sentiment this morning discussing this and its results with my Dad.
          And for those without children and young ladies of their own… your own sister, wife or mother can be inserted here.

        • @AmyMccTobin  @ginidietrich  @margieclayman  @ExtremelyAvg  @AlaskaChickBlog Agree w/ the regular crew, Gini, I think you did a good job of raising the issues (no one is going to offer a “final” pronouncement on a topic like that anyway) and I encourage you to take a breath but keep thinking/talking about it. “Sit down and shut up” doesn’t fly in my book and I hope it doesn’t for you either.

        • @JoeCardillo  No, it doesn’t. In fact, I took it on (from a PR perspective this time) again today. I can’t shut up. 🙂

        • @AlaskaChickBlog “(I had to make sure my tiny little girl-brain had it right…)” 
          LOL!! Love you!

        • @AmyMccTobin  I think you’re right. Someone else clearly didn’t read the whole thing and told me it’s a shame I think the only course of action is for women in executive positions at the Fortune 500. Um…did you read the section under the subhead, “Women-Owned Businesses”?? Lordy.

        • @ginidietrich GOOD! =)

        • @ginidietrich You are loved right back.

      • @ginidietrich  @AlaskaChickBlog   Gini, something that’s easy to do is to focus on the negative that someone says. In fact, I think people are drawn to it for some crazy reason.  I was reading some of the Oscar predictions last night and saw all of the negative comments about Argo and Ben Affleck.  I thought, bummer, I loved that movie.  I wondered how he can stand all the negative critiques.  But, the truth of the matter is, we will never have everyone agree with us. And we wouldn’t want that, because how incredibly boring would that be.  Imagine having everyone follow behind you saying only, “Yes, Gini.”  (Well, don’t imagine that because that does sound kind of great.)  Anyway, you didn’t write your post to elicit the negative but it’s part of the discussion. You are awesome, and a mentor and an inspiration to many.  It’s why you have thousands of people following you.  You influencer, you.

        • @jolynndeal  LOL!! You are right, of course. It’s like I told Margie…it takes away from being able to effectively run my business. And, as it turns out, I’m as sensitive as the next person. When people anonymously call me names and bully me, I get upset. But thank you for the nice comment. A TON!

      • @ginidietrich Shit.

  • No no no. If you got beat up for it, send them over to me. I had begun to write you a note in FB about a very personal story that come from this post, but now it is gonna be right here for the world to read. 
    I posted this to my facebook, encouraging my friends to take a peek and join the conversation. I am sure many people stopped to take a peek and didn’t tell me, but one friend did. She messaged me to let me know that she had read this post and it really resonated with her. See, I split from my wasband about a year and a half ago. My friend and her wasband split just before xmas. It hasn’t been an easy time for her. In the middle of her final year of vet school, just about to start a career that in her mind included a supportive partner with whom she would start a family, the split threw a real monkey wrench in to her plans. We have been friends since three years old-no exaggeration!- and a husband and kids were always a part of her plans, even while I was dreaming of space travel (some things never change…). She would hold weddings for her Barbies, I played GI Joe. So it did not surprise me that finding a new partner is a priority for her. 
    We skyped yesterday after she read this post and thought about it. She told me how she read this post, and how deeply it touched her. So much so, that she has decided to completely reorganize her priorities. About to graduate as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, she is no longer going to plan her career around having a baby. She realized, through your words, that she had already put limits on her career based on the idea that she would want, and in fact NEED to take time away from her job to have babies. She was already nixing potential internship opportunities because they would take her away from her wasband and the baby she thought she should have. She actually said to me yesterday that for the first time IN HER LIFE she realized that being married and having babies is NOT the measure of a woman. She said that she is now searching out internship opportunities that would provide her with the best possible start to her career, and is no longer making a timeline that involves large chunks of time “out” to spawn. She even mentioned that she could chose to pursue adoption at 45 as a single woman once her career has been established.
    Gini, this woman who I have known 33 years is like a sister to me. And it was YOUR words that allowed her to reconsider the role that she “thought” she should play. Does this mean you have to be single and childless to have a career? No, not what I am saying. And does this mean she won’t meet a man next week and fall crazy in love and have this plan change, too? Of course not. But thanks to your post, G, she has written herself a new future that revolves around her. And for this, I can not thank you enough. You brought light to a dark place. So again I say-pass the haters my way. I’d be happy to open their eyes to what conversations your blog sparks.  xxoo

    • @RebeccaTodd Wow. This made me cry. Wow. Thank you.

      • @ginidietrich  @RebeccaTodd Are you kidding? It made ME cry too.  I wish every single teen going through guidance counseling could read the post, and your comment Rebecca.

        • @AmyMccTobin  @ginidietrich There are always going to be people in the world who disagree. Heck, G and I love to debate each other. But I sincerely hope it is worth all your hard work to know that you could have such a huge impact. Even if this post only resonated with my friend and I, I hope it makes it worth what you risk to share yourself with us G.

        • @RebeccaTodd  @AmyMccTobin I have ZERO problem with disagreements. I love professional discourse and debate. Love. What gets me is when people anonymously call me names, send me DMs that are insulting, or attack me personally. That is called bullying and, no matter who you are, it’s hard to take.

        • @ginidietrich  @AmyMccTobin Agreed! You show so much vulnerability and integrity here on the blog, and if people want to voice their opinions, you welcome them. But for someone to not have the proverbial balls to answer you in public, where this conversation is occurring, is shameless and weak.

        • @RebeccaTodd And to do it anonymously. That kills me, too. We’re all big people behind a screen with no name, aren’t we?

        • @ginidietrich  @RebeccaTodd  @AmyMccTobin I think y’all are great. I’m sorry the trolls showed up, but they often do when something of significance is being said.
          That being said, I was moved by your comment @RebeccaTodd  and by the comments and the entire conversation on this piece. I hope I never stop having the ability to be moved by people communicating their passion, work ethic and desire to make the world a different place. I tell myself all the time “if you want the world to be different you have to make it different.” These kinds of conversations along with corresponding actions do exactly that.

        • belllindsay

          @ginidietrich  @RebeccaTodd  @AmyMccTobin YES!! It sure is. And those same people would FREAK if it were done to them (or their kids). Grrrrrr.

  • ginidietrich

    @nikki_little I got beat up for that post. Wow.

    • nikki_little

      @ginidietrich Well I’m not beating you up for it!

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