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A Brief Comment on: “The Oscar for Gender Equality Does Not Go to Corporate Canada”

Full Article by Jay Rosenzweig for the Huffington Post

“Our latest report finds that just 8.5 % of these top positions — what we define as named executive officers at Canada’s Top 100 publically-traded corporations — are held today by women.”

“…Looking ahead, I believe we will see acceleration in the numbers of women moving into top positions. Indeed, I am convinced we are on the cusp of profound and lasting change in the board room and the executive suite.”
Jay Rosenzweig

You’re missing the point: the issue is not wage parity OR the number of women in top management positions. These are symptoms. We like symptoms because they’re easy to see.

The question for me is, why do we have a condition in our organizations that systematically excludes fifty percent of its members?

Well meaning authors such as Sandberg, and Kay and Shipman, tell us that it’s the fault of women, i.e, they don’t lean in enough or they don’t have confidence. But blaming women isn’t the answer.

The answer lies in backing up and looking at the system itself. When we do this we see a system in which males (and the way they lead) are the norm or the benchmark against which all others (women) measured. Under these circumstances women can’t possibly get it right, hence the mixed messages, “be outspoken, but don’t be a bitch; be commanding, but not bossy.

If the system is going to change we’ll need to go out of our comfort zone and start questioning the norms and assumptions that we take so for granted.


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