One of the recent news item on the childcare crisis drew me into a conversation about societal attitudes towards women and how our who-will-stay-home and who-will-work expectations have varied throughout history based on race. Our expectation that black women will be employed is reflected throughout history in a number of ways.
Our assumptions about moms undoubtedly keep too many women from advancing through the pipeline to the top, where frankly, we need them. It's time to stop penalizing women for the care they give and start creating organizations where moms are welcome.
Delta CEO Ed Bastion's commitment to increase board diversity "over the next couple of years" is hardly the bold action one would expect from someone who is "ashamed" for not paying more attention to diversity, and who has pledged to pay "extraordinary attention" to the issue in the future.
Let's face it - white men are the ones who are going to have to decide to say "no" to yet another white guy. Whether for themselves or someone else, white men, who make up nearly 50% and more of the decision-makers at the manager level and up, are the ones who must drive change in the composition of the leadership pipeline.
White men are asking how to be allies for women and people of color in the workplace. How about stepping up by taking a step back? How about making sure someone who doesn't look like you has the opportunity to step forward.
How about saying "no" to yet another white guy?
Current ways of thinking about the inequities experienced by women and people of color at work continue to perpetuate the idea that (white) men are the norm and women/people of color are the “other.” Maybe it’s time to reframe the problem and dismantle white male privilege in our workplaces.
As companies scramble to find ways to address racism through their organizations, their “solutions” tell you something about how the organization is defining the problem (and presumably what they think it will take to move the needle). So far, I’m not seeing anything that defines the problems we face any differently than they have been in the past - not a good sign if we’re hoping for real change.Continue reading...
Questions about the qualifications of women and people of color come from a place of privilege, where qualifications are assumed. That they only come up when we talk about women and people of color means they are also sexist and racist.
Most companies explain their pay gap away by noting the lack of women in the upper ranks of the company, where the pay is higher (as if that's a defense). But at Burberry, women hold a significant portion of the highest ranking jobs. So what gives?Continue reading...