I read an article recently in which a collection of female business people had been brought together to talk about the barriers women face in developing their career.
The issues are complex. They cover everything from ‘clubs’, golf days, and networks that, without really thinking about, it pick people like themselves, to overt sexism.
They are influenced by deeply ingrained cultural factors, which we don’t even notice most of the time and, if we do, we certainly don’t want to rock the boat by talking about them.
These include the very strongly held belief that men are good at hard logical things and women are better at softer emotional issues. If there’s truth in this, it’s down to cultural training – there is plenty of evidence that the differences amongst men and amongst women are far greater than the difference between men and women!
So instead of gathering women together to talk about ‘women’s stuff’ wouldn’t it have been brilliant if this group of female leaders had been asked for their opinions and insights on the productivity puzzle, the role of AI in our future, or creative ways to tackle the skills shortage.
A group of talented, informed women being brought together to debate a hard issue … that really would produce some great copy!