"Here is the crux: Why lean into a system that is fundamentally broken? By pushing ourselves to succeed within this patriarchal world that has been created without our participation, aren't we upholding its pillars of inequality? Truth is, many feel as if we should rush in and bring the whole place down instead -- rebuild it from the ground up as something more equitable, more collaborative, less hierarchical and more "win-win" oriented. Perhaps some of us are more interested in creating businesses with more "feminine" attributes like caring for the planet, our nations' health and well-being and educating our nations' youth. Perhaps we see less value in amassing extreme power and wealth, and more in leaving our world in a better place than where we found it."
Many of us don't want to be part of a broken system. Though women have many huge strides, it's still largely a man's world. It isn't that women are failing, can't hack it, or make different "choices". One of our biggest problems is that our employment system is built on a male ideal. Women are a part of it, but they often blame themselves for failing at their ambitions when they don't achieve them.
People look at pay disparity or women's poverty and offer any number of reasons why women aren't doing as well as men. Some of them might even be true. But when our business model is male-centric, some women are bound to fail. Not because they aren't as talented or ambitious or capable or smart or committed, but because many of them have different values (and many men don't fit the male-centric model, either). I don't think this means that people who don't fit in should change their values or their personality in order to match the social structure. I think it means the social structure needs to change.
It's easy to say that from my computer while thousands of women struggle to put food on the table, I know. Many of them have to conform just to survive.
But what if we did things differently? What if our social structure wasn't built around men, but around people?
Things would be different. I think they're already changing. Some forward-thinking people are making important changes that the rest of us need to listen to. If we are committed to innovation, to profit, to change, to doing the right thing, we'll do all we can to include as many people as possible.
If you want to create your own structure that incorporates your own values, how would you do it? Here are some ideas I thought of, but please feel free to add your own.
- start your own company
- create partnerships with non-profit organizations
- organize charitable giving events
- ask for the schedule you need
- form a committee within your company to discuss ways to recruit and retain non-traditional employees
- create non-monetary rewards for performance
- create more collaborative projects
- think of alternatives to the traditional career ladder
- create time for employees to be involved in the community
- invite leaders of causes you care about to speak in your organization
How do you think we can create a better world at work?