If women make up 51% of the population, how is it that we can allow ourselves, as a group to be subjected to discrimination? We are in the majority after all, so how is this even possible? As one of my mentors shared with me, because women come in all shapes, sizes, colors, religions etc. etc., it is easy to see ourselves as separate and therefore separate ourselves from one another. The result is an example of divide and conquer and allowing ourselves to be divided means we are giving up our power. To bring us one step closer together, our first article debunks dated ideas about race, and if we can take this in, hopefully this is a first step to seeing each other as the same and less ‘other.’ For literally centuries, skin color has always been a defining characteristic of race and even social status. A new study based on genetics shows this thinking to be a profound error. It turns out we all share the same genes but four narrow regions of the human genome influence pigment. The article makes for fascinating reading and can be found here.
Speaking of sameness and shared experience, according to an article from Harvard Health Publishing, gender bias in our medical system can have serious and fatal implications. It turns out that 80% of pain studies are performed with all male subjects so doctors don’t have a good understanding of pain as experienced by women. When you consider that 70% of chronic pain sufferers are women, that is rather alarming. Women are also more likely to receive prescriptions for sedatives to manage pain rather than actual pain medication. Sounds like it is time to start lobbying for more balanced testing. The full article can be found here.
The other battle we all need to stand together to fight is the one against sexual harassment. As I am sure you are aware, there has finally been a flood of women sharing their Harvey Weinstein experiences but it took that flood to lend credibility to their claims. Case in point was Courtney Love – all the way back in 2005, she warned young actresses about attending Weinstein’s private parties. She wasn’t the only one, and was quoted as being afraid to be sued for libel for speaking out. For being attacked. Another illustrative case in point is Anita Hill who risked her career and reputation to testify against Clarence Thomas who is today a Supreme Court Justice. Records show that senators kept another woman from testifying, so it was he said/she said and in these cases, as a society, we seem to side with the men. The next article, Do We Believe Women Yet? The Battle to End Sexual Harassment is an eye opening read and can be found here.
And of course the backlash to all this is to avoid one on one meetings with women. Huge dramatic eyeroll here. Research has shown that building genuine relationships with senior professionals is necessary for success, but if women are shut out because a) we are all either Mata Hari’s trying to seduce men or 2) men have trouble controlling themselves, it all seems a little ridiculous to me. But never fear, there is a solution at hand!
From Business Insider, Ann Victoria Clark has come up with “The Rock” test for men who don’t wish to be accused of sexual harassment. Filled with practical advice that is easy to apply – the bottom line is to treat women as people and we will be all good. This article is a must read and must share and can be found here.
Finally, on a serious note, a Fortune interview with Sheryl Sanberg noted that “the first step to achieving parity is realizing how much work remains to be done. The report finds that while workplace equality seems to be slowing or even stalling, nearly 50% of men and one-third of women don’t find the fact that only 10% of senior executives are women at all troubling—in fact, they think it’s sufficient.” These statistics are exactly the reason women need to stop seeing women as ‘other.’ The full interview can be found here.
AlphaWeek was launched in October 2017 to help fund managers of all strategies with their awareness and capital raising campaigns, whilst maintaining the highest standards of editorial integrity. Each week, AlphaWeek profiles investment fund portfolio managers as well as providing content on topical developments within the funds industry to help educate its readers. AlphaWeek has kindly featured TXWSW in their first issue. The link can be found here.
We have some terrific events lined up for you this Fall and look forward to seeing you all at an event in 2017! To learn more about our 2017 events, please visit www.txwsw.com.