As promised, Part II of my missive on things that have grabbed my attention lately. In this edition, I’m talking about the Gender and Power Gap.
My interest in the Gender and Power gap was piqued when I read Invisible Women last fall. The book wasn’t on my radar, and neither was the topic to be honest. But the university where I got my business degree was promoting their first-ever Alumni Book Club and it sounded intriguing! I’m actually a member of two book clubs [I do love reading and discussing books!] but both are on a Covid hiatus at the moment, so I thought the university book club sounded like it might fill that void.
Invisible Women was so eye-opening. The book’s subtitle says it all: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. That subtitle may sound a bit inflammatory, but upon reading the book, I had to admit that it was rather spot on. The “norm” is male. And there are an incredible number of examples, in all facets of life – science, medicine, technology, family – to support this. For example, there was a study done on breast and uterine cancer done in 1986 *that included 0 women* in the trial. ?!?!
Once I had read the book (and passed it on to my husband, and gifted it to almost everyone I know for Christmas), discussion of this gender gap started cropping up more frequently everywhere I looked.
The Canadian national newspaper, the Globe & Mail, has been doing a series on The Power Gap. Astonishingly, paying women less than men for the same job has been illegal since 1951, yet it is still common practice.
Women’s remuneration peaks at age 40, while men’s peaks at 55 – a huge difference in lifetime earning potential and retirement savings! This info was from a fascinating podcast on Women$ Worth, where the host interviewed Kristine Beese who specializes in financial advice for women. A really captivating discussion and a must listen for women!
A few other items to enhance awareness on the topic [and I do sincerely hope that the men reading this find this equally fascinating and a topic equally deserving of more understanding. This is Diversity of Thought in action!]:
1. From the Harvard Business Review: Men get more actionable feedback than women – impacting their careers and their potential.
2. A podcast episode from “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” on the impact of Lockdown, homeschooling, and the Covid crisis on women in the workplace. 3. “Hope“: Amanda Gorman – the amazing and incredible Inauguration Poet – interviewed by Hillary Clinton on her podcast and discussing the differences in leadership qualities of female and black leaders.
There is clearly still a long way to go to reach gender parity, but the first step is to recognize and acknowledge where we are now. I hope you find these resources as thought-provoking as I did!
AND FOR THOSE MOMENTS WHERE YOU’D LIKE TO JUST ESCAPE INTO A DIFFERENT WORLD FOR A WHILE…
One of the best thrillers I’ve ever read is Claire Mackintosh’s I Let You Go. I got to the end of the first half (there are 2 parts) and thought “WHAT?!?!” I had to go back to double-check what I had read. It’s true what they say about assumptions! 😉 Utterly brilliant. I read this a few years ago and everyone I’ve recommended it to has found it similarly enthralling.
And although I Found You by Lisa Jewell doesn’t rank quite as highly on the “I never saw that coming!” scale, it was definitely an enjoyable read. Frankly, I don’t have a lot of extra brainpower these days, so I’m okay with an easier story anyway. This one had three intertwined threads: a man with amnesia; a newlywed whose husband has gone missing; and a 25 year-old story of a family on vacation. I thought I had it figured out, but I didn’t! I was pleasantly surprised by some of the unexpected revelations, and I found myself compelled to read just one more chapter, and then just one more. A great diversion from the norm!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this topic!
As always, let me know what you’d like more or less of in future issues. And please do feel free to share! I would love to increase my readership and would be so grateful to you for making that happen!
Have an awesome weekend!