Gender Equality: Making Progress But #NotThere Yet

March 8th was International Women’s Day, and this year’s celebration made me think.

Make it happen! International Women's Day 2015

Making progress one day at a time thanks to ladies such as Maya Angelou.

It was inspirational to see the tweets, posts and updates across social media celebrating achievements by women. I f*cking love science‘s #WomenYouShouldHaveHeardOf campaign was downright educational. How many of these ladies did you learn about in school?

It was also a little dispiriting in 2015 that we still have such a long way to go. Glass ceilings and cliffs, gender stereotypes and marginalization are all alive and well today. Where do we go from here?

The good news (for women and men) is that more people than ever are discussing the problem, which is how problems are solved. Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, explained to Inc. why unfair gender norms around giving — where women are taken for granted while men are rewarded — are bad for businesses. Have two minutes? Listen here.

Elsewhere, the HeForShe movement is bringing together men and women in the push for gender equality worldwide. The movement’s goal is to “bring together one half of humanity in support of the other half of humanity, for the benefit of all.

No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project

While we’ve made progress toward gender equality, the No Ceilings initiative reminds us that we’re #NotThere yet.

“Women’s rights are human rights.” -Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State

No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, co-founded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Clinton Foundation, is bringing a data-driven approach to gender equality. And the data shows that while significant gains have been made in women’s rights in the past two decades, we’re not there yet.

That was the topic discussed by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton and Melinda Gates during Not There Yet: A Data Driven Analysis of Gender Equality, an event held on March 9th. Miss it? Watch it here.

Inching closer but not there yet… That seems to be the status of gender equality today. My hope? I want to live to see the day that we achieve true gender equality. An ambitious dream, but a worthwhile one.

Moving forward one day at a time,

Jaime

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Breaking Through Gender Stereotypes: Are We Making Progress?

I planned on writing a post about social media today, either tips on tackling Twitter or answers to some FAQs from clients, but then I came across this video in Slate.

Watch it. It’s worth two minutes of your time.

It was created by a company called GoldieBlox, a toy company who wants girls to know there’s more to life than dolls and princesses. This ad speaks to girls who are interested in science and exploring, solving problems and getting a little dirty in the process.

What do you think?

Are we making any progress breaking through gender stereotypes? Or are they not a problem?

Does a person’s gender affect how you communicate with him? If you hire her? How much you pay him? How you treat her?

Related reading: Women in the Boardroom: Handshake or Hug?

What can I say? I love to make people think and open up discussions on debatable topics. So let’s discuss. All opinions welcome!

Video courtesy of GoldieBlox

A tomboy at heart,
Jaime

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Women in the Boardroom: Handshake or Hug?

You just finished a meeting with a key business partner and chairs push back around the table as members of both companies begin to file out of the room. Goodbyes are being said and hands are being shook as small talk fills the air.

Did you see the game last night? What’s the weather supposed to be like this weekend? How’s your kids doing?

Sound like a typical meeting? That may not be the ending for everyone in the room.

shaking hands

Photo: Larimer County Workforce Center

As a twenty-something and now thirty-something woman, I’ve spent a lot of time in boardrooms with middle-aged white men. It’s a fact of life. I’ve ended many meetings with an extended hand and instead received a surprise hug or arm around my shoulders. On occasion, I’ve even had business associates briefly rub my back or shoulders. Strangely enough, they don’t offer this level of closeness to their male counterparts.

I’ll admit it: I didn’t grow up in a hugging family. We’re just not that kind of people. But is that level of contact really appropriate in a business setting?

Sometimes you become close friends with clients or business associates so a hug when you see them makes sense. But a new rep at a company that you don’t even know? A potential client that you’re meeting for the first time?

Sound Off

Have you encountered these situations?

Is a different level of contact between men and women expected in our society? Is it appropriate in business settings?

As a businesswoman, does this type of contact make you feel uncomfortable or undermined?

As a businessman, do you feel compelled to hug a female businesswoman instead of shake her hand?

Please share your thoughts!

I’d love to shake your hand-

Jaime

p.s. I was inspired to blog on this subject and wrote most of the post at 2:30 am. Any fellow night owls out there?

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