I read a fascinating letter to the editor in response to the Anne Marie Slaughter book review from an HR professional who has been addressing the diversity issue for the last 15 years of her career, and her response to the above question of what is holding women back would be discrimination. So much of the advice in the press today is about what women can do better – and I think constant self-improvement is an admirable goal – but as a society we need to call a spade a spade and start addressing the underlying root cause which is conscious and/or unconscious gender bias.
The WSJ did a whole separate section in the paper this past Wednesday lead by the headline: “What’s Holding Women Back?” The full articles can be found here and there is something for everyone: http://www.wsj.com/articles/whats-holding-women-back-in-the-workplace-1443600242 “When Women Get Stuck, Corporate America Gets Stuck:” http://www.wsj.com/articles/sheryl-sandberg-when-women-get-stuck-corporate-america-gets-stuck-1443600325 “More Firms Say Targets Are the Key To Diversity:”http://www.wsj.com/articles/more-companies-say-targets-are-the-key-to-diversity-1443600464 “Big Banks Boost Efforts to Recruit and Retain Female Employees:” http://www.wsj.com/articles/big-u-s-banks-boost-efforts-to-recruit-retain-female-employees-1443600926
“ How to Get More Women in the Workforce:” http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-get-more-women-into-the-workforce-1443600975 “A Racial Gap in Mentoring at Work:” http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-racial-gap-in-mentoring-at-work-1443600872 “Gender Bias at Work Turns Up in Feedback:” http://www.wsj.com/articles/gender-bias-at-work-turns-up-in-feedback-1443600759 “In Two Career Marriages, Women Still Do More of the Work at Home:” http://www.wsj.com/articles/in-two-career-marriages-women-still-do-more-of-the-work-at-home-1443600654
And lastly, “Networking Isn’t Easy for Women, but it is Crucial:” http://www.wsj.com/articles/networking-isnt-easy-for-women-but-it-is-crucial-1443600526
And the question is, why should we care about any of this – women just want equal pay – so what? Life is not fair, so deal with it. Or not. Right now with Canada, Russia, Japan and Brazil in recession, global GDP growth is zero. And in the US, while GDP growth is positive, it is below normal levels. So where will growth come from? According to a McKinsey study, “gender equality would boost global GDP by $28 trillion.” The full article can be found here: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/personal-finance/headlines/20150930-mckinsey-says-gender-equality-would-boost-global-gdp-by-28-trillion.ece Seems like perfect timing to address this issue to me.
A man’s take on the McKinsey study: 88% of men think that women have just as many opportunities as they do which is one of the reason gender discrimination still exists. Adam Grant’s article shares his perspective: “Dear Men, Wake Up and Smell the Inequality.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-grant/dear-men-wake-up-and-smel_b_8226496.html
And finally, the Harvard Business Review asks the burning question: “Why do so many incompetent men become leaders?” The full article can be found here: https://hbr.org/2013/08/why-do-so-many-incompetent-men
Huge thanks to our committee members for arranging a terrific line up of events for the Fall including a coed cocktail party and brewery tour in Dallas, our third annual (also coed) Boots & Blackjack Casino Night in Austin, our second annual C-Suite Dinner in Houston, a Charity Shopping Night in Dallas, Lunch with Mayor Betsy Price in Fort Worth, and our annual Holiday Luncheons. Register early to avoid disappointment!