In my lifetime, we have come a long way on the journey to gender equity. I can also see how far we have to go on the journey to true equity – and declare it half empty. In one week I have seen evidence of both points of view.
Manpower Group commissioned research on “accelerating more women into leadership.” The report suggests that reaching “gender parity” will take time — and cultural change. It will take changing “entrenched male culture” to “gender neutral culture.” How can we do that?
When asked “haven’t women made lots of progress?” I am reminded of the cigarette slogan declaring how far women had come. As Gail Collins chronicles in her book “When Everything Changed,” since 1960 there have been major shifts in norms and attitudes about what women can and should do. In the 60’s most middle class women worked only at home. Now women are CEO’s, Supreme Court Justices and Secretaries of State. Women have more choices. Hurray! BUT women entered jobs traditionally held by men 35 years ago and still aren’t proportionally represented on the upper rungs of the ladder. We have a long way to go before the “glass” is full enough!