Review: New data on the rise of women

Speaker: Hanna Rosin
TEDWomen 2010
Date: December 2010
Location: Washington, D.C.

Description from TED website:
Hanna Rosin reviews startling new data that shows women actually surpassing men in several important measures, such as college graduation rates. Do these trends, both US-centric and global, signal the "end of men"? Probably not — but they point toward an important societal shift worth deep discussion.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

Hanna Rosin is the author of “The End of Men and the Rise of Women.”

“The End of Men and the Rise of Women”
By: Hanna Rosin

The following paragraph really stood out to me in her talk:

“What it's about is that the economy has changed a lot. We used to have a manufacturing economy, which was about building goods and products, and now we have a service economy and an information and creative economy. Those two economies require very different skills, and as it happens, women have been much better at acquiring the new set of skills than men have been. It used to be that you were a guy who went to high school who didn't have a college degree, but you had a specific set of skills, and with the help of a union, you could make yourself a pretty good middle-class life. But that really isn't true anymore. This new economy is pretty indifferent to size and strength, which is what's helped men along all these years. What the economy requires now is a whole different set of skills. You basically need intelligence, you need an ability to sit still and focus, to communicate openly, to be able to listen to people and to operate in a workplace that is much more fluid than it used to be, and those are things that women do extremely well, as we're seeing.” (emphasis added)

Wow – that a powerful message to me! The economy is not what it used to be and the new environment is naturally more suited to women.

Hanna Rosin talks more about the glass ceiling and how she doesn’t like that terminology because it puts men and women at odds. I believe she makes an excellent point in regards to that.

She says, that instead of a glass ceiling we should thing of a high bridge. While it may be terrifying to go on it, the point is that we “just have to have the confidence to know that [we] deserve to be on that bridge, that [we] have all the skills and experience [we] need in order to walk across the high bridge, but [we] just have to make the decision to take the first step and do it.”

In other words, we need to have confidence in ourselves, our skills, and our experiences. Then we just need to take action and step onto the bridge.

Photographer: Alex Azabache | Source: Unsplash

So are you going to take action? What is the ‘high bridge’ before you? Are you ready to take that first step?

Until next time … live long life-learner!

Review: So we leaned in … now what?

Speaker: Sheryl Sandburg
TEDWomen 2013
Date: December 2013
Location: San Francisco, California

Description from TED website:
Sheryl Sandberg admits she was terrified to step onto the TED stage in 2010 — because she was going to talk, for the first time, about the lonely experience of being a woman in the top tiers of business. Millions of views (and a best-selling book) later, the Facebook COO talks with the woman who pushed her to give that first talk, Pat Mitchell. Sandberg opens up about the reaction to her idea and explores the ways that women still struggle with success.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

I had previously reviewed Sheryl’s 2010 TED Talk, and since that talk, she’d written the book “Lean In.”

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
March 12, 2013

So this talk was a sit-down conversation with Pat Mitchell, discussing what had occurred since the 2010 talk and since Sheryl had published her book. One of the first things Sheryl said that caught my attention was:

“What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”

She was referring to when she was preparing for her first TED Talk. her answer, of course, was to talk about women.

Since the publication of her book, she has traveled all over the world, and one thing she has discovered that is universal is that:

“[S]tereotypes are holding women back from leadership roles all over the world.”

So if you thought you were alone, rest assured, you aren’t!

All around the world, there are terms for little girls who are “bossy.” These terms aren’t used with little boys, just little girls who show initiative. Sheryl says that the next time you hear someone call a little girl “bossy,” that you should walk up to that person with a big smile and say to them:

“That little girl's not bossy. That little girl has executive leadership skills.”

We have to stand up for the little girls, and we have to stand up for women all around us.

Sheryl discussed how there are now “Lean In” circles all over the world. They are using her book to help with support groups for women who are facing different challenges in life and it is helping.

Please watch the video, and if you have a chance, get her book and read it!

Also, since 2013 she’s written several other books that you can check out on my website at: https://dmhardy.design/product-tag/sheryl-sandberg/

Photographer: LinkedIn Sales Navigator | Source: Unsplash

So it is now time for some inner reflection … what would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Until next time … live long life-learner!

Review: Why we have too few women leaders

Speaker: Sheryl Sandburg
TEDWomen 2010
Date: December 2010
Location: Washington, D.C.

Description from TED website:
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

The thought-provoking question that Ms. Sandburg asks in this talk is really a question that we should still be deeply considering even a decade later. The numbers she discusses at the introduction of her speech show that women are not rising through the ranks. So she asks:

“[H]ow are we going to fix this? How do we change these numbers at the top? How do we make this different? I want to start out by saying, I talk about this — about keeping women in the workforce — because I really think that's the answer.”

She goes on to state that her talk is about what to do if you (a woman) want to stay in the workforce and she provides three points to consider.

  1. Sit at the table
  2. Make your partner a real partner
  3. Don’t leave before you leave

“[W]omen systematically underestimate their own abilities … Because no one gets to the corner office by sitting on the side, not at the table, and no one gets the promotion if they don't think they deserve their success, or they don't even understand their own success.”

Honestly, Ms. Sandburg presents so much information in this short talk … all of which really hit home for me as a woman in the workforce.

If we are to tackle the issue … we have to tackle it individually and together. We each have to do our part, and we have to encourage others to do their part as well.

As a woman who struggles with the issues she presents, I must push for a seat at the table. I need to ask questions and make my voice heard.

It will require stepping out of my comfort zones … but that means growth, right? We can all use a little growth.

Photographer: Christina @ wocintechchat.com | Source: Unsplash

So what steps will you take to stay in and/or encourage women to stay in the workforce?

Until next time … live long life-learner!

Review: How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Speaker: Janet Stovall
TED@UPS
Date: July 2018
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Description from TED website:
Imagine a workplace where people of all colors and races are able to climb every rung of the corporate ladder — and where the lessons we learn about diversity at work actually transform the things we do, think and say outside the office. How do we get there? In this candid talk, inclusion advocate Janet Stovall shares a three-part action plan for creating workplaces where people feel safe and expected to be their unassimilated, authentic selves.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

“There’s a lot of power in single-mindedness.”

Ms. Stovall is a single-minded woman and for her, this means that you don’t just care about something. It means doing something about it.

For her, this focus is on racism – more specifically, diversity and inclusion.

She believes (and I wholeheartedly agree with her), that the best mode for dismantling racism is not colleges and it’s not the church – not enough people attend either. The best mode is actually businesses.

“There are a 162 million people in the US workforce alone — people of all races, united in the spirit of wanting a paycheck and having to show up to get it.”

She provides a formula for businesses to use in order to tackle the issue:

  1. Real Problems
  2. Real Numbers
  3. Real Consequences

And she recommends that the employee base of a business should, at a minimum, mirror that of the population.

Ms. Stovall also points out that the concepts of “diversity” and “inclusion” are not the same.

“Diversity is a numbers game. Inclusion is about impact.”

So while the percentages of racial representation is a minimum to meet, she recommends instead at looking at the numbers that actually make an impact. She states that 30% is a good number to aim for because research shows that that is the number where minority groups are heard.

Finally, she discusses the consequences that need to exist in order for diversity and inclusion to take hold.

“Consequences are what happen when you don't do what you're accountable for.”

Photographer: kate.sade | Source: Unsplash

The message that Ms. Stovall presents in the video is a message that is more important now than ever before. I personally believe inclusion is extremely important, and it takes many aspects to achieve inclusion – it is much harder to reach than diversity. Businesses that embrace inclusivity will be lightyears ahead of those that do not. Inclusivity makes teams stronger and ideas better.

So how can we start developing an inclusive environment in our workplaces?

Until next time … live long life-learner!

Review: Can we all “have it all”?

Speaker: Anne-Marie Slaughter
TEDGlobal 2013
Date: June 2013
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Description from TED website:
Public policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter made waves with her 2012 article, “Why women still can’t have it all.” But really, is this only a question for women? Here Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy, and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.

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My Review / Notes / Thoughts

This speaker raises some interesting points about equality when it comes to men and women. She discusses the feminist movement and states that today, women actually have more choices than men. Women can choose to be breadwinners or caregivers… and no one thinks twice about it. However, for a man to choose caregiver over breadwinner, it has a tendency to affect his ‘manhood’. That is not equality.

What does this mean? According to the speaker, this means we need to start teaching children that it is ok to be either or both. That it doesn’t affect their man- or womanhood. That it doesn’t make them less attractive as a person or partner.

She also discussed equality in terms of the workplace. She stated that “real equality means valuing family just as much as work, and understanding that the two reinforce each other.” In other words, places of business should encourage their employees to value their families, to find as much balance as possible. Because the end result for the workplace is that the employees will perform better, more efficiently, and be more results-focused.

Policy terms is another area she focused on in her talk. In regards to policy, she stated that “real equality means recognizing that the work that women have traditionally done is just as important as the work that men have traditionally done, no matter who does it.” Because human survival depends on both breadwinning and caregiving – we need both to exist.

Photographer: Clay Banks | Source: Unsplash

Please take the time to watch the video for yourself and reflect on the concepts she brings up. It’s one thing for us to pursue the work-life balance for ourselves – its something else for us to figure out how to find the balance for society as a whole.

Until next time … live long life-learner!

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