Denial: A general belief that inequity does not happen in our communities. We see a few women leaders and conclude that we “don’t have that problem here.” But it does exist.
Lack of confidence: Confidence, or the lack thereof, takes many forms of behavior. Self-deprecating comments, the self-selection out of opportunities to lead teams or join a committee are prevalent among women. If the motive is boiled down to a common denominator, often it is lack of confidence in one’s ability to bring enough skill to the table. With training and support, confidence can grow, and Women’s Network is a great community where one can gain the courage to grow.
Intentionality: Deliberate planning for one’s path to leadership. It takes commitment and focus to build one’s career.
There are real obstacles for women, some of which is stems from the cultural norms we create. For example, I recently read a New York Times article talking about inequity of chores that starts in the home. I recall in my own home, girls primarily cleaned, cooked, baked, cleared the table and washed the dishes. And according to the NY Times, that is still happening in American households. Subtle messages matter. Expectation is set at an early age for both genders. I do not mean to over-simplify the issue. However, it is so much about messages learned at a young age.
Conversations around workplace parity are tedious. It requires vulnerability on all fronts. Those conversations can be difficult, and my hope is that Women’s Network can raise awareness, monitor the data and continue to be a thought leader bringing solutions and answers. We must start with where we are today and we are leading that effort.
STATUS OF WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP GAP in the UNITED STATES
WOMEN OF COLOR
Source: Rutgers Center for American Women & Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University
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