Progress Isn’t an Illusion but it Sure Feels Slow
Next week I am spending some time with social researcher and author Shaunti Feldhahn, who has literally spent over $100,000 to gain insight into the hearts and minds of men and women in the workplace with the goal of facilitating healthy communication and removing barriers. (You are invited to listen in our conversation.)
I have not heard the subject of gender reconciliation addressed recently, yet it has far-reaching significance. The glass ceiling is but one manifestation of age-old misperceptions and misunderstandings between men and women.
Data from the U.S. Department of Education reveals that a year out of school, despite having earned higher college GPAs in every subject, women will take home, on average across all professions, just 80 percent of what their male colleagues do. The research firm, Catalyst, reports that female M.B.A.s make $4,600 less than their male counterparts in their first job out of business school. Furthermore, just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO’s and 15 percent of board directors at those companies are women. Could it be that these are recent statistics?? Haven’t we made more progress than that?
Sadly, we have not. Perhaps it is possible to explain away some of these figures with a discussion about choices women make, but ultimately, there is startling evidence that a deep gender bias still exists. One Newsweek journalist, commenting on the fact that her own managing director is a woman in a place that was sued in a historical Title VII discrimination suit in the 1970’s says, ” just as the first black president hasn’t wiped out racism, a female at the top of a company doesn’t eradicate sexism. ”
On this subject, I think of George Orwell’s thought that “progress is not an illusion, it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.”
Shedding light in what can be a dark and frustrating place, Feldhahn’s willingness to ask the tough questions about the unwritten rules of men in the workplace results in fascinating insights that can be invaluable to women. In case you guys are feeling left out by now, know that Feldhahn has also published “For Men Only.”
If you desire to see healthy relationships that encourage and honor the best gifts in each one of us, you are going to appreciate Feldhahn’s wisdom. Join Slingshot Success for a Tele-Seminar on July 27th. Click Here to Register.