Well, Hi There!
I’m back–took my first two-week vacation EVER, and it was truly relaxing. My husband and I went on a southern Caribbean cruise. I would like to publicly thank the core team at DBE for making it possible for me to be away for 2 weeks and tune out to tune up. What an amazing group of professionals. I am truly grateful.
And, no surprise, I was digesting content like crazy, so I’ve got lots to share this week. I’m making up for those 2 weeks away. Let’s jump right in:
International Women’s Day happened while I was away, and as you know, it’s Women’s History Month right now.
There was so much content that came into my view this month that impressed me, angered me, and/or inspired me to keep pushing for gender equality in the workplace, in government, and everywhere else. Here are some I especially want to share with you.
And as you’re reading, I’ll ask this: if you’re a guy, please think about what you can do to increase allyship. If you’re a woman, ask yourself: what help can you ask for and what help you can offer. We’re collectively well past the point where women think the failings have to do with us as individuals (lean in, try this, do that) and well into the phase where we see problems are social, systemic, and institutionalized. They stem from how we’re socialized and the biases are played out by men AND women.
So, let’s squarely recognize the issues and jump into fixing mode.
- Celebrity Cruises honored the women on board with roses, which was lovely. More impressive to me is Celebrity’s track record for hiring and promoting women in positions of authority. Here are some stats from Diversity Women Media: “In the 200-year-old cruise ship industry, fewer than 2 percent of mariner roles are held by women. At Celebrity, 32 percent of officers on the bridge are women, an increase from 3 percent in 2014. This astounding figure is largely the doing of Celebrity’s president and CEO, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, who took the helm of Celebrity Cruises that year. She appointed the first-ever female American cruise ship captain (McCue), and the first West African woman to work on the bridge. Celebrity also boasts the first ship sailing with an all-female bridge and officer team.” 33% when the rest of the industry is at 2% I like putting my money where the wins are. Other women are rallying behind the same idea.
- Sponsored by theSkimm, this Harris Poll survey is eye opening. In 4Q 2022, they asked 3,015 women, 18-57, questions about the state of women in the United States. There was a follow-up study of 1,500 women in the later part of Q4 2022. Here are a few key points:
- 74% of women surveyed agree with the statement “Society treats women like second-class citizens.” It was higher for LGBTQIA women and BIPOC women.
- And 83% of Millennial women aligned with, “I am done letting society dictate what a woman’s role should be.”
- 71% of Millennial women said it’s their job to be the Chief Worry Officer (CWO) – tasked, explicitly and implicitly, with the mental load at home and at work of thinking through every scenario, and planning for every contingency.
- Sadly, 59% of Millennial women reported “I have sought treatment from doctors who do not believe me, or who have ignored my needs.”
- And here’s more on the mental health challenges we as leaders need to recognize among our team members: 74% of Millennial women say they are worried about the mental state of their female friends. As a result, mental health is the #1 well-being issue on women’s minds, followed by (in)adequate sleep and physical safety.
- There’s a lot more in the report, including information on what women are doing to band together to improve their chances for equity and better living. It’s not only fascinating, but the format is easy to digest. I’ve got the full study as a PDF if you’d like a copy or you can email theSkimm for it.
- Great piece by Ann Friedman for Elle on women redefining ambition for health and success: “Women are in the midst of a revolutionary reckoning with our ambitions. We’re not resigning en masse—because who can afford to quit her job in this economy?!—but we are trying to figure out a new set of goals and guidance for our professional lives. Thanks to long-simmering inequality and stubborn sexism, clarified by the pain of the pandemic, our definitions of success increasingly lie outside the realm of work. We are waking up to the fact that our jobs are never going to love us back. And we are trying to adjust accordingly.”
- On a more personal note, part of what drove me to start my first company was how underpaid I was for the profits I was generating for my F500 employer. And like most women, I did negotiate for higher compensation, but the company just didn’t feel the need to pay a married woman more. (Yes, I learned this from someone in a higher role years later, that having a working husband was literally the reason I didn’t get the increases I deserved.) That was over 30 years ago, and unfortunately, not enough has changed. Women still are paid on average 82% of what men doing the same work are paid, and now Chief has tapped its membership to get new ideas on how, really, to address the gap. Great info here to help you help your organization maximize the appreciation (and thereby, productivity) of the women working for you.
- Super smart interview by theSkimm with Erin Loos Cutraro, founder and CEO of She Should Run. Since 2011, this non-partisan organization has encouraged over 40,000 women to run for office. Here’s the full interview.
- And while advances are being made for women, there was a lot of slippage in the US and abroad. The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres says “gender equality is slipping away before our eyes” and that it will take 300 years to get women the equity they deserve. This from the Washington Post.
- I absolutely love this piece by Leslie Feinzaig suggesting, for International Women’s Day (and going forward), we stop holding female founders to different standards than their male colleagues. I so very much agree with her.