Updated: Mar 21
”My take is….we need to find a way for women who have kids to have it be doable no matter what job they have”…Cathie.
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300 years…say it ain’t so!
By: Cathie (Chair). 03/17/23.
Last week, the United Nations Secretary General, said that gender equality is “300 years away”. Yesterday, on the 3 Friends & 1 Chair Podcast, we discussed this number. Patti said that when she heard that number she thought it was “a mistake”. When I heard it, I thought “no way, what can we do”?!
Turns out, we can do a lot. The World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report 2020 breaks down the numbers. There is BIG room for improvement in two categories: Economic Participation and Opportunity (we need more women in middle and senior management positions) and Political Empowerment (we need more women in office).
So what can we do? We all need to take a look at how we can support and help women get into those positions and stay in those positions. Specifically, women in their late fifties, sixties, seventies and eighties, need to figure out how they can help those women young enough or still in the game, do it and continue doing it.
Those of us, that are not in those positions and do not plan on trying to be, need to figure out our part in closing the gap. This is the moment to come out of retirement or spend a little less time at yoga, the gym, reading, walking, scrolling on social media or whatever we are doing with our precious time to help the cause. I am not advocating that we all put in 40 hours a week to this cause, but can we put in a few hours? Could we pick up someone’s kids twice a week or cook a meal once a week? Could we run some errands for the women in these jobs that are juggling families, whether it be taking care of their kids or elderly parents? Could we do the same for women seeking political office or that are holding it? I say this because, I think that a lot of women are tired of trying to do it all and so, they drop out. Perhaps some of these women who have dropped out would run for office, but cannot imagine trying to juggle it all again.
We have so many role models of women in their sixties, seventies and eighties still out there making shit happen. That means we all can as we age.
I challenge you all to think about this and what we can do to close this gap. Oh, and if you think the gap in the US can’t be anywhere near 300 years, well it’s not. In North America to close the gap it will only take another 151 years! That means your great-great-great granddaughters still won’t have gender equality.
That is just unacceptable! So are you with me? Let’s activate!
And the Conversation Continues…..
Women Could Have it All
I am still reflecting on the 3 Friends & 1 Chair podcast conversation about gender equality taking another 300 years to reach.
I think the things opened up by mother’s generation: birth control pills, more women going to college and working while having smaller families, lead my generation to thinking we could have it all. I am 56 and my generation born during the feminist movement, set out to become doctors, lawyers, business women and astronauts. We were convinced we could do this while having a family and being excellent wives. We did grow up with the commercial: “ I can bring home the bacon , fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man because I’m a women…”. However, when we got all these things, many realized that we are exhausted and spreading our attention too thin. Many are not satisfied with our performance in either area of work or family, so many decided to leave work and stay home with our kids, just when we were getting into positions of power. The generation after us, having the same issue, is following in our footsteps.
This morning I was thinking, men have it all: great career, wife, family, home and free time. Why? They have a great support system, a woman. The argument is that if a man shared in more of the housework it would be easier for a woman to succeed and stay in the working world. Would it? Or would it just make the man a little less successful and still not take enough of the workload off the woman in order for her to stay in the game.
My thoughts go back to my previous post of women supporting women. Could it be that all women need to have it all, is the support of a woman or women? Let the men continue being men and find another way. Could we ‘close the gap’ by having women who are older and not working and/or their kids are out of the home, support those in the ‘trenches of work-family’ so that women can have it all? This morning, I am thinking yes! Women could have it all! We just need a new solution! How about a new song? It would go something like this: “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man cause I’m a woman with other women helping me”!