Yesterday, a 72-year-old successful surgeon told me he’s a capitalist and the notion of an imbalance between men and women in the workplace has never even crossed his mind. He’s been the boss all along and believes anything but capitalism is socialism, which in his eyes is women asking for what they haven’t earned.
Deloitte made a shocking announcement when they revealed that Millennials expect equality and diversity to be a core value of any workplace. Millennials also believe programs that support small minority groups within their organizations are being dismantled because they are unnecessary.
An article in the New York Times sheds light on why some men, famously including Vice President Mike Pence, won’t be alone in a room with a woman unless she is his wife. The article evaluates a survey by Morning Consult that sheds light on how people feel about Men and Women, Alone Together. Allow me to go through the survey…
Questions were along the lines of whether the participants felt it is appropriate or not for women and men to do certain activities (such has having a drink or lunch, or being in a car) alone with a person of the opposite gender who is not their spouse.
Brace yourself for the responses.
Having a drink
Women: 29% believe it is appropriate to have a drink with a man and 60% disagree.
Men: 41% think it’s okay and 48% do not.
It gets weirder…
Women: 43% believe it is okay to have lunch with a man and 44% of women think it is inappropriate.
Men: 53% of men say it’s fine and 36% say it is inappropriate.
The article also states that conservative and religious respondents tend to think one-on-one interactions are inappropriate for people of opposite genders.
Are men and women afraid of each other?
These numbers are shocking for many reasons. The hot debate of feminism has always been about equality. Meaning, women want the same rights, the ability to make the same choices, and to have the same career and money opportunities.
Feminism got a bad reputation because the perception somehow morphed into demanding women asking for what is not rightfully theirs, or asking for something that we didn’t earn—just like the surgeon believes.
This is why men are fed up with feminism.
And now we have 75 million Millennials who, according to a survey by Nielsen, feel that equality will be achieved naturally. Does this mean it’s back to business as usual? Not so fast.
Reading between the lines
It pains me to say that the crucial numbers remain largely unchanged. The number of women CEOs is not changing. The number of women in C-level positions is not changing. And, overall, the inroads we are making are not that great.
Study after study says the same thing. I could bore you to death with all the stats I’ve read recently. Remember the blind study of people who code that showed negative bias toward women? Their code was considered “better” when the gender of the programmer was a mystery, but the same code was somehow judged to be “inferior” when gender was revealed.
Progress happens when we raise awareness and cause opinions and actions to change based on this new knowledge.
Ignorance is when companies like Deloitte dismantle programs because someone ‘believes’ the problems don’t exist because they are simply too young in the workforce to have ever experienced them. Millennials have not yet hit the management ceiling that we know begins at manager level and only gets more restrictive from there. That’s why we see the huge gap where men advance quickly while women stay stagnant.
It is up to us whether we are happy to relish in wishful thinking, or want to make a difference by facing the facts. What do you choose?
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.