The theme for International Women’s Day was #BalanceforBetter. It’s a day to celebrate women’s social economic and cultural contributions to society and to raise awareness of structural inequalities around the world.
I joined the celebrations this year by co-hosting a workshop on Authenticity in the City with the lovely Somaya of Mimosa Fleur Recruitment.
This wasn’t advertised as a female only event, although there were no men in attendance. It allowed us to have the conversations that were personal to women. But maybe we would have had the same conversations even if men had been present. Perhaps that’s the point.
For the years I have been doing my coaching and trainer’s qualifications my husband has asked why I worked only with women when I have three boys at home.
The gender pay gap is at its largest for the last 20 years. At current rates of growth it will take 108 years to achieve parity. Some say a lot more. Women are 60% more likely to suffer from job related burnout, stress and anxiety. We are less happy than we were 40 years ago, and less happy than men. Regardless of the country, culture or social circumstances we find ourselves in.
For these reasons, I’ve tended to focus on working with women.
I’ve recently been researching tools to help lawyers who feel they’re at a cross roads in their career. I put out a call for volunteers to share their experiences, and I received as many contributions from men as from women.
Speaking with men and women, I heard the same pain. Both notice dips in their confidence throughout their career and worry about spending enough time with their family, or future family.
One male contributor said “these are the best years of my life, why am I spending them living 5 years in the future, where things “might” be different?”
Speaking with men and women, I heard the same pain.
I want this world to be a more equal place for women. But to achieve this, we need to bring the men along with us. We need to work together. #BalanceforBetter.
My mission is to help people to be happier (and to change the culture in law)! Men and women alike deserve that chance. And importantly, their children deserve the happiness that comes from having parents who are happy, healthy and connected. #BalanceforBetter.
It’s not about men or women, it’s about people wanting to feel better than they do. Wanting more satisfaction and fulfilment from life than they have. And they deserve it.
Although IWD is a fantastic and much needed concept, it can create a further divide if we aren’t careful.
My belief is that the path to gender equality requires the men as well as the women. For true equality in the workplace, we need true equality at home.
When men can feel confident to ask for more flexible working or reduced hours, to enable them to design more of their life, we might lose this notion that flexibility equals less commitment. Or at least that (false) notion, will equally apply to both men and women.
When men and women both work in a different way, the argument for women being paid less, loses all weight. When men working 4 days a week are promoted on a regular basis, so will the women be. #BalanceforBetter.
For true equality in the workplace, we need true equality at home.
International Men’s Day is on 19 November and focuses now on men’s mental health and tackling the shocking rate of male suicide. I see from a google search that originally the day was to promote gender relations and gender equality.
So we really are all signing from the same hymn sheet.
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