You may have heard last week that according to the World Economic Forum, it’s going to be 117 years before we gain gender parity in the workplace globally. When I hear these figures, I find it desperately disheartening.
However, I am hoping for the snowball effect, as the tiny snowball rolls down the hill it gets larger, covers more ground, picks up more snow and momentum and creates greater impact and I hope change in gender parity occurs in the same way. A race where we sprint to the finish line and cover 50 years of ground, in just days with the culmination of all the activity and effort we have made.
What concerns me is how this message of inequality is digested by the next generation and in particular teens. I would like to think that most parents are encouraging their children to be all that they can be, but the message via the media is a rather contradictory one to that, even though very real.
If I look back to my teen years, it didn’t take much to deter me from making an effort. If I could be holed up in my bedroom, changing my outfit 20 times from puff ball to rah rah skirt to ski pants, singing in front of the mirror with hairbrush in hand to Madonna, Aha and Diana Ross, I was quite content. I think I was even partaking in a drink called Snowball at the time.
So if I’d been armed with the information that I’d only be earning 80% of what the boys in my class earned later in life, I might think to only give 80% of the effort. Or if I knew the odds were against me when it came to senior and Board roles, perhaps it would dampen my aspirations. The news that some organisations like Penguin books are dropping the need to for a degree, while admirable in terms of widening the net for talent could also make me consider, what the point of studying really is. Yes there are always the fabulous young people who want to fight the inequalities of the system and use that to power them on, but I wasn’t one of them, I was a compliant, conformist, a good girl ….at that time.
The need for good news for young people has never been more necessary. In the face of anxious times, social media pressure and a void where inspiration should be, I co-founded a social enterprise called Rocking Ur Teens, to inspire, increase aspirations and make social change happen for 13-14 years olds. To speed up that snowball effect.
See some highlights from our last conference. Don’t worry we’re not missing the boys out, we have a conference for them in November, as well as the girls conference this March.
I invite you to join us, to be part of the solution, to contribute to the giant snowball that will accelerate change. Do join us as a sponsor, speaker, volunteer, donate financially or in kind and accelerate change for gender parity, but maybe more importantly help teens know that there is a positive future ahead of them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
My mission is to transform the world for everyone, one empowered woman at a time. I use my years of experience in coaching and leadership to inspire and motivate people, working with them to deliver career and life changing results beyond expectation. Find out more at www.rockingyourrole.com