There was such a relatable aspect to this reading. The humorous tone more easily connected me to the issues, and identifying clear behaviors. Putting names to those behaviors has made me laugh a few times at work lately. I caught myself writing the different names of actions of men I work with in margin of my notebook at work in meetings, the Dismisser is the most common one.
I have noted in other gender readings that I enjoy talking about the ideas and issues behind the gender gap in our workplace, but I really get behind the actual tactics that can be used to reduce, and eliminate, this gap. Of course, the suggestion of leaving Lean-In around your office was helpful, although I don’t see many men picking that up for a read. I don’t know if I agree with the philosophy to be like a mediocre man. I understand where she is coming from, but there was this twinge inside me that a woman should not have to act like anything other than herself to succeed in the workplace. I know, that is me living in a paradise that has everyone treated as equals.
Women should be able to operate normally in the workplace, they should be able to express themselves as they are most comfortable and not be penalized for this. There is often talk of the role of the government in corporations, and what is too much. I will stay away from that quagmire. I will say I believe that there could be government incentives for companies that adjust their corporate culture to provide more equal appreciation for all employees. One example would be “blind” hiring practices used to hire new employees that would reduce the chances to use gender, or race, as influencers in decisions.
Seeing my wife go through looking for a job while pregnant with our daughter, and all the reading that followed of how other countries handle maternity leave, I became acutely aware that there is a culture in the U.S. that does not encourage women, or motherhood in the work force. This may be me spiraling here, but the thought that a woman would leave the workforce because she feels she might not be able to get a promotion, or raise, after having a child because she will be perceived as less dedicated to her job than a man is insane to me. Most mothers in the workforce, that I know, are incredibly dedicated to both their job and family. And a corporate culture where a woman might feel penalized for having a child is simply the wrong culture, because it is perpetuating the gender gap by discouraging women to work. Standard maternity leave, by law, would go a long way to ensure women feel protected and appreciated, in my mind. Again, if mandating something for private companies feels wrong to you, can’t it be an incentive system that reward companies for adopting a more pro-female culture?