How the World of Work for Women is Changing for Women

What You Need to Know

Have you noticed how many female traffic controllers are on the road now? Or caught a tram, train or aeroplane driven by a woman? Or seen the gradually increasing number of female umpires in AFL matches?

Change is happening, there is no doubt about it. It’s still too slow, but as we gather momentum I’m optimistic it will speed up rapidly.

Media has a big part to play in this change and it’s good to finally see powerful female characters, like Captain Marvel and Rey in The Last Jedi, brought into our movie theatres. As well as the true stories of incredible pioneering women like Ruth Bader-Ginsberg and Sidorie-Gabrielle Colette. Changes in the film industry are mainly thanks to tireless women campaigners and their influence, like the Geena Davis Institute. We need a lot more change in other areas of media that’s for sure.

In this changing world there are things you need to know.


1. You Can’t, And Don’t Have To, Do It All


The increased opportunities and pressures in the workplace are not being matched with a decrease of responsibilities on the home front. Women are still doing most of the housework and child raising. That’s not just the practical work of laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, drop-offs, pick-ups, lunches, etc etc. It’s also the mental load of organisation, preparation and coping when things go wrong. It’s exhausting.

If you are in that situation of doing more than your fair share, then start to even things up a bit. Start with an open conversation of explaining what’s happening and how you feel. Don’t expect anyone to notice or understand your workload without you sharing the details. Work towards a fairer share of the responsibilities. Tiffany Dufoe, in her book ‘Drop The Ball’ suggests creating a spreadsheet of who does what. If you have kids, get them involved picking up a share of the chores too, the earlier you start the easier it is. I gleefully handed over school lunches to my twins when they were in Grade 2. It worked a treat, with the bonus of making them responsible healthy eaters. Today they also cook dinner once a week.

Let go of having to do it all. Let go of needing things to be perfect. Give other people the opportunity to help and build the support you need around you.

“Women will only have true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.”

Ruth Bader-Ginsberg

Image of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

2. Your Voice Matters More Than Ever – So Use It

Your opinion matters. Your thoughts matter. People don’t see what you see, or think in the same way you think. Wherever you are in your career right now, you are there for a reason, your voice needs to be heard. Whether it’s a suggestion for a new idea, a potential solution to a problem, notification of what’s missing, calling out bad behaviour, or good behaviour, use your voice.

One area we could do better in is the support of other women. At every opportunity you get, whether you are a woman or a man reading this, use your voice (email, pen, opinion, decision) to support another woman. With all the unconscious bias, stereotyping and double binds women face in the workplace, we need all the support and advocacy we can get just to get onto the playing field, let alone make it even.

3. Feminine Leadership Skills Is What the World Needs

You cannot have missed the genuine, heartfelt response displayed by the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, through the aftermath of the tragic mosque shootings in Christchurch earlier this year. Unlike other world leaders Arden focused on empathy, not hate, togetherness, not division, and healing, not retribution. Arden showed us how powerful feminine leadership can be. She held a nation and captured the heart of the world.

Read article here.

Our world is severely out of balance. We pay a greater wage to the people who look after our money than we do to those who look after our children, sick or elderly. We have more than enough food to feed every person on the planet, yet we have millions of people living in starvation. And we have wars and conflict that never seem to end.

The masculine led world focuses on power, money, hierarchy and competition. With more feminine influence and more valued feminine qualities, expressed by men too, we can shift our focus to collaboration, compassion and community. Imagine a world based on those values? It’s certainly something we can all strive for.

Lisa.

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