My summer reading pile is almost all books about women. Books about women in the nineteenth century, women and self esteem, women and leadership, women in politics, etc. All very interesting, all research for articles and a book I’m drafting out. And while these books are interesting, all too often there is a common thread that tugs at the back of my mind, women as a gender are often stagnant regarding the women’s issues talked about in the 1970s and on. We still have not resolved many of the challenges women face in society and the workplace, and at times it seems like in the past they were easier to address, as now, when you bring them up in certain circles an example of an outlier will be thrown into the conversation as if that woman was the norm.
For me, reading these books is often like watching reruns of the late 80’s early 90’s hit Designing Women, deeply unsettling when the realization that so many of the concerns, issues and challenges of decades ago still exist today. I’m constantly amazed how many successful women, whether at home or in the workplace still feel their contributions are not noteworthy. And I’m still sadly surprised when I hear, as I did last week, why women do not belong in leadership roles, or hear a woman in the workplace referred to as a “bitch.”
I deeply believe that if we start paying more attention to the dynamics that surround us we can improve and progress from where we are as a society in regards to women, to where we often assume we are, and where we strive to be. There is currently a gap, and a big one at that.