Would the outcome have been different if I was a man?

I have been giving this a lot of thought lately when it comes to boards and organizations where I have inserted myself.  I think the word inserted myself couldn’t be more perfect.  When I look back at how things have ended or not ended, I can’t help but wonder if the outcome would have been different if I was a man?

It isn’t that I didn’t ask a million questions.  It isn’t that I wasn’t very specific about what my expectations were.  It isn’t that I wasn’t clear.  It was just that in the post, and I do not believe that any of the other people sitting around the table ignored me, but that if I was a man they would have gone one more step further.  I am pretty sure that nobody believes that to be true but it is learned behavior that has been going on for years without much thought.

How does that change?  That change needs to start so early on when kids are young where we break down the separation of gender norms.  Where boys and girls are on an equal playing field.  Not sure how well football teams bode on this level with cheerleaders on the sidelines.  Not sure how fraternities and sororities remain.  How do companies large and small create respectful cultures when onboarding anyone on to the team.

We are definitely going through a cultural shift in regards to feminism.  I look at women my age who got off the train to raise their families and don’t want to go back full time but are also grappling with what to do and how to do it.  Will this next generation of women entering the workforce find themselves at companies who understand that all of us need more flexibility in our lives? That family needs to come first so let’s create opportunities so people can still remain working while they are raising their families that makes sense when it comes to highly educated women who seem to be the ones who have left the train.  Time will tell.

The difference that separates the women from the men is quite simple, only women can have babies. That isn’t changing.  Women shouldn’t have to apologize for that.  They shouldn’t have to step aside from running a company for that.  They shouldn’t be treated differently for that.

Bottom line, is I hate to say this but I do believe in a few situations where I was ignored or didn’t get to achieve what I had expected that I do believe that if I was a man that I would have got what I wanted and that just kills me.  I don’t want my daughters to ever feel that way and I am not sure how we get to that place.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Anne Libby

    Did you see the Times story about the “covert” survey at Nike that led to a few men leaving the company? It’s impossible to keep controversial stuff completely silent, someone is always going to talk.The story that’s being told is almost comical: that the survey was completely unknown to the men in the organization — right until it landed on the CEO’s desk (then the scales fell from his eyes).If you added some song and dance, it could play almost like one of those depression-era Fred and Ginger movies, where nobody is paying attention to what’s really happening. Or for that matter, the wonderful *9 to 5,* still all too relevant.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Incredible story. Impressive women. Love how they went about it and then straight to the CEO. Brilliant maneuver

      1. Anne Libby

        Yup. If nobody is listening to you, or watching what you’re doing (or assigning it any weight): use it.

  2. JLM

    .There is NO DOUBT that what you observe is correct. No doubt of any kind.Change will come slowly and painfully. Case in point is the time it took an enlightened organization like USV to bring in a female partner. It will never change completely.The football team v cheerleaders perspective is at the root of the problem. Boys learn a myriad of valuable future skills whether they have a thimble of athletic talent or not. It is where leaders come from.This is exactly why I made My Perfect Daughter play basketball with the boys. I told her, “One day, Elizabeth, you will thank me.”That day came and she is on her second owned startup, her 4th startup at which she has worked.In the end, it will all be about performance. Now, it is about getting a seat at the table, getting a game jersey. Getting in the game.I do not believe there is any life experience which conveys more wisdom than bearing and raising children.Hang in there.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  3. Sarah

    I watched (may rewatch) “I am not an easy man” – https://www.imdb.com/title/… on Netflix the other night. I was expecting it to be entertaining and kinda sorta cute & there were moments that met those expectations. Mostly, I was overwhelmed with the absurdity of how women are treated/dismissed based on gender. It was worth every moment. The film’s beauty was in watching the power dynamic flip and observing the shifts in posture & confidence affect the destiny of each character. For me, it is not just about playing with “the big boys” on their turf with their rules. It is about how we all create a situation where there is admiration and respect that upgrades all of us.

    1. jason wright

      if Connie Chung wants to be fat and bald and ugly she has my express permission to go right ahead.

  4. Pointsandfigures

    Frats and sororities are not going away. A lot of people make lifelong friends in them. They get a bad rap which is undeserved. (for the record, I was not in a frat)

    1. Gotham Gal

      They are already going away on many college campuses

      1. Pointsandfigures

        Not the big ones. Small schools yes, but that was never a huge part of the scene anyway. Many small schools have the dreaded 60/40 ratio of females to males. The big state schools and larger private institutions aren’t losing them and probably never will.

  5. Kathryn Furgal

    I ask myself this question all the time. And what’s even more disheartening, I still feel a lot of inequity comes subconsciously from my sisters in arms.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Unfortunately, I agree with you.

  6. Stormie Leoni

    “That family needs to come first so let’s create opportunities so people can still remain working while they are raising their families that makes sense when it comes to highly educated women who seem to be the ones who have left the train.” YES! I’m optimistic that we can get here through more remote work opportunities, and cultural awareness, but this was a huge issue for my mother when she was re-entering the work force after a six year hiatus raising kids. I’m seeing more push back among women and men in their 20s/30s on maternity/paternity leave, and flex hours. For millennials this notion of flexibility is huge – this article I read touches on “job sharing” as a potential transition solution. https://www.themuse.com/adv