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  • being a woman, I'm being in business is not where the ever mark it is not exceptional, nor is it extraordinary.

  • Let me explain.

  • So a few years ago, I tended a women in business event held by the company that I worked for at the time, and I've been really looking forward to the event.

  • It was to be held at a trendy bar in the city with drinks and Kanna pays and would all be speaking about in the office.

  • We arrived on our CEO, opened the event and enthusiastically congratulated all of us for achievements as women and finance.

  • He noted how remarkable it Woz to see how well all of us were doing in the industry.

  • But during his told Remember thinking, Wait, what what is actually happening?

  • Because at the time I worked in quite a large team on it was pretty much a 50 50 male female split, So we all worked on the same project.

  • We all did the same staff day today, but are neither women were receiving praise and it wasn't even for what we were doing or how we're performing.

  • We're being congratulated for being women and for being in finance, not because we were good at our jobs or smart or capable, but because we're women.

  • And I remember thinking, Why?

  • Why am I feeling uncomfortable here?

  • Why is this weird to me?

  • Because I know that women have not always had the opportunities that I have had.

  • I know that for a long time they were no women in positions of power.

  • I know that women do still face workplace discrimination, unequal pay, and I know that for so many women there is still a long way to go.

  • That I'm standing here today is a testament to the courage onto the resolve of the many women who have come before me.

  • I know well, this and I still felt uncomfortable and I could see how much time if it energy had gone into planning the event and to making it an enjoyable evening.

  • I was enjoying myself, but there was something something that just wasn't sitting right with me.

  • We celebrate achievement of women in business because women in business are seen as a high achieving exception, which is contrary to the norm.

  • I think people believe that glorifying women and business is the right thing to do.

  • It's the way to be progressive, but actually, when you really start to think about it, when I really started to think about it, I felt it was pretty condescending.

  • So I have three amazing, beautiful, wonderful nieces who I love so much, and I want to see them grow up in a world where gender has much significance both in business and society as eye color or shoe size, where they are judged on their ability and not the agenda where they are viewed as exceptional because they are genuinely exceptional.

  • Now I know that this is not a discussion that we can have in all parts of the world, but today, here and now in a progressive and institutionalized democracy which should guarantee the equal enjoyment of human rights.

  • I think the context has shifted, and now I think it's time to call it the existence of women in business networks, events organizations may inadvertently be perpetuating the very bias that they seek to overcome, and now I think it's time to ask ourselves, what harm might these groups be doing and why is it that we think that they are even necessary?

  • Have these groups which once did help women gain equal footing, now become a crutch.

  • I feel that for as long as we talk about women and business women on boards, women and finance, we continue to perceive them that as something that is different but not something that is ordinary, banal, normal, boring on accepted.

  • It's then she I think we separate women out and we put them into a box, and we base achievement on membership of a certain group.

  • So it's almost like the more we talk about the worst we make it because we constantly highlight and reiterate that divide.

  • And there are certain instances where this is becoming less remarkable.

  • So Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank recently discovered that the majority of his most profitable companies across multiple industries are run by women with no intervention from himself.

  • And there was a study done of Olympic medal winners, which found that countries with smaller gender equality, gaps in terms of things like learning and education tenant win more medals now.

  • This wasn't just because the female athletes were winning more medals.

  • The man wears well, and this is this could be because there was a wide a pool of talent to draw from.

  • So think about that.

  • Equality not only benefits the previously unequal but society as a whole.

  • I'm so of course, the quality is our goal.

  • It is just perhaps the means to that end that we should question.

  • So how do we go about making this a non conversation?

  • A non issue?

  • Let's really look at the way we speak about it, because language is so powerful.

  • So there was recently a controversy in South Africa, where I'm from about an advertisement which Ridge look like a girl.

  • Act like a lady.

  • I think like a man and work like a boss.

  • Think about the influence that that perception can have.

  • The writer and author Gillian Tit attended a banking conference with an all female panel, and she noted how remarkable it waas because it's so visibly challenged the all male panel norm.

  • She said that while the mores of Western culture have shifted to accept the idea that some women can exercise executive power, our cultural assumptions do not expect that this could be distributed on an equal basis or that women might call the shots.

  • So we really need to try and reach a point at which or female panels or female boards are nothing out of the ordinary, merely representative off high achieving individuals.

  • And does that stop cutting men out of the picture?

  • The exclusion of men reinforces the idea that they are something else.

  • Do I have any fans of the Netflix series?

  • Orange is the new black in the house tonight.

  • Reminded of a scene where the lead character Pi PiS trying to fix the microwave.

  • Andi, a man says to her.

  • And you can fix that all by yourself, Honey.

  • To which she replies, Ah, sure can if I concentrate extra hard with my lady brain.

  • So excluding men causes them to disengage from a fuller understanding of the various and often subtle ways in which the subordination of women is reproduced.

  • Equality is not a women's problem.

  • It is everyone's problem.

  • Imagine walking into a boardroom and not noticing whether the people around the table were male or female.

  • So let's shift the focus from gender to skills and performance as objective criteria, while still maintaining an open an inclusionary dialogue says.

  • I've thought about this.

  • I really started to wonder why it is that we feel we should participate in these organizations thes networks, these events do we feel that we need extra support, guidance, extra recognition?

  • Do women today still require a different kind of mentor ship?

  • Or do we just think that we do?

  • Let's ask ourselves these difficult questions and really think about how we view ourselves and our position in society and be open to changing roles to women in the workplace, to men in the home to diversity and leadership positions.

  • After a lot of thought, I have no decided to resign as member of women in business networks and to no longer 10 women in business events.

  • And this has been a very tough decision because I really have gained value from and enjoyed the events that I've attended.

  • But I think that for a CZ, long as we celebrate achievement based on race, gender, sexual orientation or any other constructed identity, we unintentionally do a disservice to the overall upliftment of those groups in society.

  • And so I'm going to take the position that it is no great achievement that I am a woman and I am in business.

being a woman, I'm being in business is not where the ever mark it is not exceptional, nor is it extraordinary.

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ビジネス界の女性たち:まったく目立たない|カーステン・ホール|TED Institute (Women in business: entirely unremarkable | Kirsten Hall | TED Institute)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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