The Glass Ceiling Act was was enacted with only minor changes as Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Four years later in 1995 a 257 page report was produced, the result of a 21 person panel (76% female).
The statistics reported at that time showed that equality in Corporate America was a mess and the prognosis in the report predicted little if any improvement in the near future. The research found relatively few women and minorities in the pipeline positions most likely to lead to the top. There was little hope for women and minorities in critical career paths for senior management positions which require taking on responsibilities most directly related to the corporate bottom line.
To this day, the few women and minorities found at the highest levels tend to be in staff positions, such as human resources, or research, or administration, rather than line positions, such as marketing, sales, or production.
If you sense deja v it could be because this topic mirrors recent popular discussion asking the questions
- Is HR dead?
- How can we increase our value proposition?
- How can we get a seat at the table?
- How can we be taken more seriously and be seen more importantly?
Look at those questions and change the wording around a little bit. Personally, I see a lot of paralells.
So, it irritates me when I hear moaning like
If I hear the clich seat at the table one more time I'm gonna puke.
What if I just want to be average?
I want to puke. Because we gave up. It's our own fault. We shouldn't have to over compensate, overcome stereotypes, work for less or work harder to get the same.
But the fact is... oh yes we do. It isn't going to fall unto us like manna from the sky. The government passed ammendments and acts and we still don't have it. It's not even easy to fix like other difficult to achieve milestones that just required a vote. Face it, Women's Suffrage was a 70 year struggle.
I also know that boys are taught through tough love and contact sports to be aggressive and competitive from a young age and girls are taught to "play nice" with dolls and stuffed animals - it's all training for primary rolls in life. And when it doesn't turn out like our societal conditioning has mandated forever, that girls should be submissive and boys dominant -girls are bitches and boys are sissies.
I'm not a mother but if I had a child I would be reading her bedtime stories in another language, word problems, making games out of memorizing all the bones in the body. She would study martial arts and I wouldn't be reading her fairy tales about being saved by knights in shining armor.
Why mask reality and then be surprised at the outcome?
We're always talking about best practices but we have a really small lens we look through when we look at the map. We won't take into consideration models of flexibility, extended maternal leaves for births, daycares in workplaces, real vacation time and time to take it from countries where it works any less than we'll accept the truth that it is nothing short of a crime for the richest country on earth to have homeless people living on the streets and an infant mortality rate that's inexcuseable.
There's a lot of Stockholm Syndrome going on, we need to wake up and I'm just getting warmed up...