I don’t know if being in the middle of an election year has anything to do with it, but have you noticed there’s a lot in the news these days about women and equal opportunity in the workforce?
The term commonly used to discuss this issue is “glass ceiling”. First popularized in the late ‘80’s, it refers to “whatever keeps women from achieving power and success equal to that of men,” and is often used in the media.
The specific story that prompted this post was related to this statistic: currently, only 4.8% of CEOs in this country are women. Now if you only listen to the radio, or trust what you read in the paper, you would think that our daughters are doomed to a future of underpaid menial positions, blocked by that ever-present glass ceiling, without even the hope of attaining any type of leadership position in the workforce as a CEO or COO or what-have-you…
A Short-Sighted view?
However, I think that’s a short-sighted and limited view, and one which not only discourages women, but minimizes the gains that have already been achieved and limits their potential! For you Little League moms, a related analogy would be to say, as my husband explained, this is like looking at the scoreboard, and forgetting about what may be going on in the dugout.
While discussing this issue with my husband the other day, he explained this “Little League“ analogy… As our kids were growing up, I sat through a bunch of ball games, and at times I would take a look at the score in the 8th inning with dismay. But more than once, the team would get back on the field, and all of us in the stands knew something had changed. The coach had prepared them for a “new game”! The players had a new energy…new excitement…new momentum…and as a result, the game turned around! This can and should happen with coming generations: as we discuss women in the workforce and women in leadership positions, I think it’s important that we concentrate on the dugout.
But how do we do that?
Let’s realize that this preparation takes time and effort. Legislating equality does not net the same result as raising leaders. The former is a relatively quicker and political move; the latter, a result of patience, teaching and mentoring.
And, finally, let’s understand that effective leadership does not have to equal impressive titles and big bucks! I know that’s a different message than what the world is talking about, but as women of faith, we need to show our daughters a different way, starting with many of the women in Scripture who accomplished much without a title or salary.
At the end of the day, whether or not women today or our daughters of tomorrow shatter the “glass ceiling” or become 50% of our country’s CEOs is irrelevant. Statistics alone neither ensure equal opportunity nor determine the definition of success. Our daughters need to be prepared to lead whether it’s at home, in the community or in the boardroom, and that is where our efforts and attention should be focused.
Top photo (Latin woman and child) photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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