Are women changing the working landscape or are women adhering to the dualistic, generic career-systemic standards that were created by men? SHE-cession awareness needs to be creating a better system, not asking the same questions of a broken system. First awareness, then educate, then take action.
We speak of women being impacted by the pandemic and how much it is a “she-cession.” We speak of how women are still knocking their heads on the double paned glass ceilings sometimes creating cracks in the glass and sometimes creating cracks in their own heads by way of not giving up. What blind prejudices are we continuing as women in the workforce towards other women?
Age-ism, Sexism, Class-ism, Misogyny. If we women are responsible for our own futures then it is us that must look to merit, character, integrity, drive, experience along with grace and grit when we are looking to progress ourselves and hire and promote other women. What are women doing to create gender parity? Hiring someone is voting for someone. Looking at a resume for 6-8 seconds or even 60 seconds because we frame ourselves as “busy” is like voting for the president of the united states after watching one or two commercials. Within the search for parity women set a new standard for inclusiveness.
Marketing is finally becoming consistently better with models of every age, size, shape, race, ethnicity, gender and professional and personal background. What about the “big things” that matters most to one’s sense of self and purpose; a career, a job, a sense of doing something each day for the woman that works? In discussing age-sim, sexism, class-ism, etc.; it is imperative women role models having forums and talks bring in relatable figures, not just celebrities and those in the media spotlight. They may have worked hard to get where they are yet, they are not necessarily in the “thick of it” such as career women who are “out there” losing their jobs, income, savings, life to the she-cession and discrimination. Being inclusive on every platform is imperative to gender parity within the multiple facets of the workplace.
Things to consider:
- Why do we still have the question asked in “standard interview questions”; “Are you planning on having children?” And if it that is not asked directly, women wonder how the question might be asked passively. In a list posted by themuse of interview questions that “might be asked”, the children question still exists. Do men get asked this? (https://www.themuse.com/advice/interview-questions-and-answers)
- Why do we still have the standard of listing dates on Resumes and LinkedIn pages? Because our minds are boring and self-exclusive that we adhere to the idiocy of spending 6-8 seconds that is based on an outdated resume review process? 6-8 seconds or even 30 seconds does not equate to looking for character or merit in a career fit. This process of scanning for dates and spending less time than it takes to chew a piece of food to find a candidate is asking for potential for turn-over and a non-inclusive workplace. We are all “busy” yet it is the characteristic of being present, mindful and resourceful that smart companies want. Yet often, those hiring can barely be present, mindful or resourceful in the task of knowing what to look for in a modern resume. It can no longer be pedigree, privilege, who you know, “proper” time lines and trajectories. It must be inclusive of what being a woman in today’s society encompasses for all.
- Being a woman who has chosen to not have children yet is subjected to the stereotype of not working as hard as her counterpart who works and has children thereby being discriminated against, is still an issue.
- Being a woman who wants children, is planning for more and is forced to lie or hold back her desire to have children in fear of being discriminated against, is still an issue.
- Do we look for common, standard degrees like MBAs and HR Certifications for roles that involve recruiting, diversity and inclusion and people management when we need to be progressive and intelligent and include degrees such as Social Psychology, Sociology, Women’s Studies and Social Science?
How much does the hiring system by women and men exclude those who are not privileged? The concept and experience of privilege is incredibly diverse. It ranges from life trajectories, perpetuation of power and privilege, race, gender, sex, appearance and more. Those who were not able to walk the assumed, successful, linear line from high school to college to job to rank, will often experience discrimination. Think about those who held many jobs while in college or going in and out of jobs to earn their way through college while supporting themselves. How many times are we told to exclude anything older than 10 years on a resume as it may lead to age-ism? Poor logic says this is not relevant. If this is the case, then exclude the college degree that was older than 10 years ago. How about excluding dates all together? How about taking more time to hire, to be present through the process and find authentic, solid hires?
Maybe a comparative situation is looking for and wanting a good therapist. Do we want a therapist that is only book smart, checked all the boxes in their education but has little to no life experience in ups and downs and only knows about depression, loss of a loved one or trauma through journal articles and textbook case studies? Or, do we want a therapist who can empathize, who has “been there” in some form and balances that with a solid education? What we bring to our womanhood in the workforce is a powerful tool in changing the landscape of how the overall working force in our society looks, feels, succeeds, fails and progresses.
If that is simply too much of an arguing point then look to the feel-good inspiring movies and books and real-life people who inspire due to their triumphs in life of walking a non-linear path. The path where they integrated the beatings of life experiences with education, grace and grit to become a success. Most of those stories have an undertone of, “in spite of discrimination and unquestioned systematic ways, this person attained a rare success in getting a career they loved.” It should not be rare and since “we the people” are the system; it is our duty to change it and be wiser about who we hire in order to actually “be the change we wish to see.” Being a change goes far beyond talking about change. We must reward merit and hard work or, we are rewarding unquestioned standards that lack pragmatism and intelligence.
As women, we must change the working landscape by creating and forming new standard operating procedures within the systems in which we work. Systems and structures are those who constitute them. They are not some elusive thing in which we have no control. As women, are we being inclusive or throwing around the concept as an ideology instead of working the concept to make it a real, tangible action? We need to remove fear and insecurity within our own self-esteems and workplaces to create a workforce of women that show the world our diversified, best selves. It is our choice if we choose age-ism, class-ism, sex-ism and all the other discriminating factors that, more often than not, exclude outstanding candidates. We need to be applauding, by way of our hiring choices, all types of women from those who had a linear path, a jagged path or some other “outside the box” path but, regardless, have the skills and integrity to make the job a success and, perhaps, take a company to the next level.
Let us not be puppets of those who have gone before us. Let us women be the progressive mavens who represent what it is to be women who create a stronger future by way of creating our own equality- driven ideologies, turned into action.