Slight change of mood for this week’s blog.
Flying to Melbourne last week I watched the new Great Gatsby film. Great movie and great storytelling well worth seeing (but my movie reviews are for another day). I was struck and saddened when the central female character Daisy Buchanan was sharing her misery over the rich life she was trapped in. Talking about what she wished for her daughter she said ““I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
Last week I read more studies about gender inequalities in technology, in the Boardroom, in pay and in opportunities. I got a little concerned as to whether the evidence is showing that we have not actually advanced that far in some areas of life and work. With all the talk of Fathers Day it got me thinking about the thousands of business men who are fathers and who regret having spent so much time at work instead of being there for their kids growing up. These same men develop special bonds with their grandchildren and particularly with their granddaughters. It is the making up for getting it wrong first time around, which so many adults grab with enthusiasm.
My question then to all grandfathers is what world do you want your granddaughters to work in? If you want them to exist in Daisy Buchanan’s world where a happy girl is a beautiful fool, then carry on as you are. If however, you want them to stand as confident equals, we need positive changes now to prepare the working world for when they are old enough to take the senior roles. If you have the power, influence or seniority to stop the hidden biases and give the roles to women that they deserve, now is your time.
The excuses for why women are not in the C-Suite or Boardroom are often just that, excuses. If men in their 30s are considered to have enough experience why not women in their 40s?
I leave you with one more line from the Great Gatsby character Nick “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”. Over to you grandfathers, while you are still busy and before you become tired, help create a working world in which your granddaughters will be pursued for their brains and not just their looks. The choice is yours.