Conversations about men and women in the workplace are my business. Equality— the dreaded word that is scorned by men and women alike is at the very core of what I do.
I have come to learn a few things about how women react to the concept of equality.
- Younger women can’t stand having conversations that suggest men and women are not equal. They ASSUME their foremothers who fought the good fight managed to fix our society, and women can now proceed without labels.
- Women 45+ (like me) are in a perpetual state of shock that the hard work we’ve done fighting for our daughters to achieve equality can be brushed aside with one loaded question: “Are you still a feminist?” Not to mention the judgment that comes with that particular ‘F’ word. We subtly raise our brows, we smile faintly, and like the fairy godmother we mutter, “But of course, my dear.”
- Young and liberated women whom WE raised in that very equal mindset are now telling us our line of thinking is outdated. They think feminism is so passé, that these issues don’t matter anymore, that today’s men are not the same, and that this new generation doesn’t need or want us to meddle with THEIR affairs. “Move over middle-aged lady. You’re too old to understand.”
They Are So Wrong
With over 2 million views and 2000+ comments on my LinkedIn status that just keeps giving, it is clear the fight for equality is far from over.
- Younger men are just like the men I’ve worked with throughout my entire professional career. They do not want to be told.
- Younger men see what their bosses get away with. If I were a man and could leave my “lesser” co-workers (women) in the dust, maybe even I would be tempted to do the same. It’s just so easy. The systems are set up for it.
- Men 45+ (especially those in IT and with the title Engineer, based on my critics) can be very hostile toward women. In many cases, they simply try to strip us of our right to speak.
I am a FEMINIST. And frankly, I don’t care if you like it or not. If you are a woman and you have a job, have your own bank account, vote in elections, and make decisions for yourself—then you are a feminist, too.
Let The Numbers Do The Talking
In response to my post, hundreds of women declared, “I agree! I do not want to be romantically approached on LinkedIn!” Conversely, some male responders (in the face of overwhelming evidence provided by myself and other women) insist
a) this problem doesn’t exist;
b) this is a problem only I have; or
c) I brought this upon myself with my “provocative” profile photo.
When we have less than 3% of CEO positions filled by women, it is clear equality has not yet been achieved. Even the disparity in numbers at mid-management level speaks loudly that most workplaces that have not adjusted to accommodate women’s needs. I’ll say it again—equality is not a belief, it’s an action.
Those of us who understand the difference between wishful thinking (or blissful ignorance) versus the actual numbers know we still have a lot of work to do.
And that is why I am still a feminist. Are you?
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.