A couple of weeks ago, we learned about Marissa Mayer joining Yahoo! and the conversation in the media began to circle not around her qualifications, but the fact that she’s a pregnant woman.
In the comments of the blog post I wrote about it, Marianne Griebler suggested we talk about what we can do to “combat this offensive nonsense, mentor young people, support each other, and dream together about a better world.”
At the same time, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ria Riaz from Girls in Tech Toronto to talk women in the business world and more executive positions.
During that conversation we discussed why women are our own worst enemies and what we can do to be better to one another…and how we can change the world for more equality.
It’s funny. I suppose this also goes hand-in-hand with the “women having it all” conversation, as well.
As much as I joke about Global Domination (it is my initials, after all), I truly believe we can change the world by working together and changing our little piece of it.
How Do We Do That?
It’s not easy. But it has to start with us.
It’s in our DNA, our genes, our chromosomes to be catty and judgmental. But we have to stop being that way. The circle repeats itself because young girls see us behave that way and they learn the behavior. It must stop.
Supporting other women is the very first step in how we do that. Stop judging what they’re wearing, how they speak, how they do their hair, and whether or not we think we could live their lives better than they do.
You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all done it.
But how can we expect men to take us seriously if we don’t treat one another with respect?
Support One Another
Ria and I made the keen observation that there were only two women speakers (minus the panelists) at SocialMix on Thursday…Amber Mac and me.
I’ve also made the observation that I’m typically the only or one of just a couple of women who are in the priority lanes at the airport (which equals frequent fliers). On Friday morning, as I flew home from Toronto, I was the only woman who had priority access on that flight.
Women are not being invited to events as much as men. But plenty of women organize and coordinate those events.
Can you imagine a day the speakers at a conference are equally balanced between women and men?
I’m not advocating adding women to the conference agenda just to balance it out. But there are plenty of women speakers who are fantastic.
Invite them to speak at your next conference…and pay them the same fee you would pay the men (I’ve noticed women are paid about half of what men are paid, but that’s a different story for a different time). Pay them the same.
Mentor and Dream
We all have different views of how we want to live our lives. That’s good! But it’s not up to us to judge someone’s choices just because they’re not the same as our own.
Mentor one another. Dream together. Support one another. Find ways we can change the world by changing the way we behave around the women in our lives.
I’m building an organization that is flexible enough to respond to the personal needs of employees – both men and women – who want to exercise in the middle of the day, who need to respond to kids and/or parents at home, who need a mental health day after working a really rough week, and who aren’t judged if they’re not at their desk every second from 8:30-5:30.
The organization is built on getting results and we’re moving more and more toward achieving goals vs. working more hours.
What are you doing to support the women in your life and change the conversation?