On human rights and equality, North America leaves many countries in the dark ages in comparison, and still females in power and policy positions in business here remain outrageously under-represented, with little progress for years now.
And it’s not for lack of excellent, equally qualified and interested female candidates. We are half of the population after all, and women have been making up half of post-secondary and post-graduate students for many years now. The divergence happens in career opportunity, income and experience thereafter.
Yes women are, so far at least, the only sex who can birth children; but barring illness or complication, most work ably right up to their due dates. Child-rearing duties can definitely be a career challenging area–especially for women. Yet how they are managed often has much to do with the willingness of fathers to share equally in day to day parenting duties of their kids as well.
Many dads today are, or would like to be, equally involved in raising their children where financial responsibilities, career norms and peer tolerance permits it. Too often still, disproportionate child rearing duties default to moms less by equal choices between parents, but because women are systemically earning less than men–even for equal work–and are offered less opportunity to advance, so family financial prospects fall disproportionately on fathers. This makes less choice for both sexes and leads to a society where duties are decided more by biology than individual merit, talent and ability. In this, we all lose.
In business today, inequality is a self-fulfilling cultural issue, where intentionally or not, those in power seats tend to reach out to those with similar personal attributes and experience to their own. Since most are males who are not sharing equal parenting duties for their children, they tend to offer the best career opportunities to other males who are also not expecting to fulfill equal parenting duties for their children. This perpetuates the problem and tends to limit career paths, attitudes and work-life balance options for women–but also for men.
Those who think equality in the work place has been solved or is a non-issue, tend to be those who are either content with the current status quo, or who have not yet tried to step outside the established male/female roles and careers. It takes awareness, thinking and intentional effort from those both inside and outside of privileged classes in order for social evolution to succeed. But the collective has much to gain on all fronts, when it does.
— OECD Social (@OECD_Social) March 8, 2016