Yes I’m obviously interested in women.
But without particularly looking for it, everywhere I turn there is an article, tweet, or blog post about women-in-tech, women-as-engineers, the pay-gap-for-women, women-as-directors, women-as-VCs, women-and-confidence, women-and-having-it-all, women-can’t-have-it-all, etc. I try to highlight or comment on the best of these articles/posts in my blog.
I have worked in the media industry, so I have to cynically wonder if the proliferation is because this type of content joins the ranks of “Top 10 Ways to…” as eye-ball magnets. For example, I recently heard that this article by Anne-Marie Slaughter (a rebuttal of sorts to Sheryl Sandberg’s best-selling Lean-In) was one of the all-time highest traffic generators for the Atlantic. That was 2012 and 2 years later, I feel like the dialogue, the facts, the issues are being rehashed all the time. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying this repetition is a bad thing. But I’m also discouraged by the plethora of “talking about it” and the lack of “doing something about it.”
To give some of these authors more credit, its of course the case that drawing attention to an issue is better for improving any situation (whether its a gender gap or climate change) rather than silence. But the solutions are rather pithy. Usually, the category of “solutions” fall into one of the 4 categories:
- Policies need to change (family-friendly laws need to be passed, companies need to improve their policies)
- Women need to change (i.e. push themselves, raise their hands, speak up, encourage each other, etc)
- Biases take time to change and they are slowly starting to (i.e. change will come as society does)
- The situation is “natural” and will never be 50/50 (i.e. women are biologically wired to be more risk-averse and family-oriented)
I could literally catalogue each article into one of these 4 categories (stay tuned to see my future database of recommendations/article-types).
We at Fairygodboss obviously think that to some extent all the above are legitimate responses. However, we squarely choose to focus our energy on number 1: company practices, pay and policies.