Categories: , biases, gender diversity, leadership, membership, network, Stereotypes, volunteer, women, women history
A new community interested in Women Leadership has been opened this year in Buenos Aries, Argentina. After five meetings where men and women exchanged ideas, and with the purpose of closing the year sharing all the research done, an open community meeting was held.
The event baptized “Taking Conscience”, began with the participation of the audience through on-line surveys to allow them to identify any possible biases regarding gender roles and their expectations.
Representative touching stories about women throughout history were presented to understand the reason of the complexity of gender matters. Every story included a fight for equality of rights and opportunities during the last centuries, dealing with consequences such as being condemned to the guillotine.
We later remembered remarkable women in several disciplines and discussed what they had in common.
Women who made significant contributions to the information technology since 1843 were then brought up. This proved that the field is suitable to the female brain, and they highlighted the lack of visibility that women have had.
What is going on nowadays? World-wide statistics show that access to top managerial positions for women as well as the gender and race wage gap have got a very long way to go. This happens in every country but in Argentina in particular. Project Management Institute, based on a survey made in 22 countries, counts only with 30% of women. Moreover, they are paid less than their male pairs. In the event a cute video was shown, in which a boy and a girl, through a game, realized the incomprehensible injustice of this reality.
Why is this still happening then? We talked about both internal and external barriers, stereotypes and myths that lead us to this complex situation, limiting us on our choices or conditioning our surroundings.
What can we do to change? How do we deconstruct these barriers? We shared some progress from several worldwide organizations that have set the goal to achieve an equal payment and distribution by 2030 for women, young men and people with disabilities. Iceland is a perfect example of how that goal can be reached.
Gender diversity programs that companies are implementing were mentioned, pointing the pros and cons of some measures. One of the members shared her experience in a corporation showing us the consequences of one of those programs and the benefits it had for every employee.
Counting on the Psychologist Elena Espil support, we shared few advices and tips that allow us to understand how mental models differs between women and men. This can help us improve our ability to communicate, taking advantage of the best qualities from everybody.
Inspiring messages and videos were presented in order to question ourselves about our own misconceptions and experiences.
Everyone is invited to join us next year to continue addressing these topics within the framework of PMI.
During a final toast we had the opportunity to exchange needs and establish connections with other organizations that pursue similar interests.
Personally, I believe the first step is recognizing our own biases. Only then we will be able to change this world into one with equality of opportunities.
We wish you a prosperous New Year in which we continue taking conscience!