"I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved." B.R. Ambedkar
The success of Women in the workplace speaks volumes about the values and beliefs of our society. The truth is, the corporate world only narrowly defines us. It is a very small part of what we, as women, are and hope to be. We are made up of parts career, family, friends, hopes and dreams.
No matter our path, our goal is to be taken seriously in our journey.
I put to you that the way for us to achieve our goals is to re-create a flawed system, not try to butt heads with the existing one. The system as it stands is made up of rules created by men. These rules are tightly focused and, in many ways, celebrate exclusion. This is what must change.
What I want to make clear is that this is in no way “man bashing”. I believe that the system is broken for men too. In many ways it stresses job above all else. This serves no one.
It is also true that the current system was born from the way society dealt with the “traditional” roles of men and women. This no longer holds true.
Growing concern about having a quality life filled with all things that are important to us is universal.
Where I find hope is in our young women and in our young men.
I believe that instead of fighting their way to the top, many are choosing to follow a different path, one of change. They realize that, currently, women who make it to the top are often asked to sacrifice more than men who do so.
This generation is not willing to accept the status quo. Flexibility in the workplace has become their ultimate goal. They want more, not less, chances to work from home and they simply believe in a different set of priorities.
These priorities are very individual, and this generation celebrates uniqueness. Allowing everyone to forge their own individual path and reach success on their own terms is important to them.
This is not to say they don’t believe in the power of team work and collaboration. It simply means that they are not buying into the antiquated definitions of what they should want out of life.
As often happens in a society, and has definitely happened in the past, I believe our younger generation will be the catalyst for this change. Their refusal to accept traditional corporate roles will help create a new order.
This new order will be developed through the dedication of both our young women and young men to achieving this change.
Consider these words from Plato;
"Every person needs to define success on his or her own terms. Ultimately, for both men and women, the definition of success is deeply personal. At the end of each person's life, only he or she can look back and say, "I was successful." It is also important to realize that what constitutes success to one person may not constitute success to another. Nothing can be more absurd than the practice that prevails in our country of men and women not following the same pursuits with all their strengths and with one mind, for thus, the state instead of being whole is reduced to half."
Although written long ago, these words define the importance of fighting for a common goal. Being divisive gets you nowhere. Definitely food for thought!
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