First published on Monday, 6 June 2016 in Gender Dynamics©.
by Dr Pauline Crawford
THE NEW BLUEPRINT HAS ARRIVED…
The Time Is Now …
The much discussed and fabled playing field that so many of my gender seem so committed to changing, is the one that we all walk out onto as we prepare to challenge the men of the world to another round of “He Said … She Said!” There is one word that I would like to define before we start to choose up sides, appoint referees and crouch down into that menacing stance as we prepare to go head-to-head. That word is procrastinate. According to the highly vaunted Oxford Unabridged, it is as follows: pro·cras·ti·nate (prō-krăs′tə-nāt′, prə-) – v.intr. To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. v.tr. To postpone or delay needlessly.
Okay, let’s get down to business. Wait a second … that’s the game we play that is so badly in need of changing, right? I think we can agree that, while the list ofmale-female inequities is not be growing at an alarming rate at this minute, nothing much has been done to reduce it over the past few years. We know, for example, that the pay gap issue remains, the opportunities continue to narrow for women as they move up the corporate ladder, and that life and work are uncomfortable playmates when women choose to have a family and work outside of the home. In that regard it’s interesting to note that in the US many companies do not offer employer-sponsored maternity plans while Nordic countries both dads and mums are given paid time off around the birth of their child. Such policies are there to help women succeed but they vary widely across the world if they are offered at all. It feels very piecemeal as it applies to core issues.
Religious and cultural pressures often defuse the female’s ability to be more independent. Everybody does something so that they can say, “We did something.” Large corporations hire token numbers of female applicants, governments, true to their heritage, establish “reasonable” quotas then throw money at the problem, while the companies, businesses and individuals that are left provide a few of the right sound-bites after which they will procrastinate in the hope that, by just leaving it alone, the problem it will go away. I mean … remember the advice your mum gave you when you found your first pimple … “If you pick it, it may become a boil … just leave it alone and it will go away.”
So why, given good evidence to support changing the playing field by changing the rules of the game, do so many traditional corporations choose to follow the same path they have always followed? Why, when virtually everything around you has changed so fundamentally over the last 200+ years do they choose to cling so tenaciously to rules and policies and a paradigm that no longer works? Simple! The corporate world is run by men who lack common sense and the energy to re-engage life and change. The education system that led them there is unchanged and un-level when it comes to boys and girls. Yet girls are now in the lead both in numbers and qualifications in so many subject areas. Maybe men have lost the entrepreneurial spirit that created ‘business’ in the first place 200 years ago. Many have got caught up in ‘doing things right’ (i.e. to the rules of yesterday) and not paid attention to ‘doing the right things’ (i.e. acknowledging women are making the same or even greater contribution to current profitable markets as men do).
Common sense must rule the changes and an intelligent mutually beneficial blueprint put into action. Procrastination can no longer be tolerated. The time to rethink and rewrite the rules it TODAY … not tomorrow!
Missed the first 2 parts? No worries! Just click the links below.
Gender Dynamics©: Changing The Playing Field – Part 1 of 3
Gender Dynamics©: Changing The Playing Field – Part 2 of 3