Do you work for a company where the CEO and other executives say they support gender equality but little else happens to make it a reality?
I’ve worked at several places where that’s true and guess other women might have, too. Places where saying anything about the say/do gap is political and career suicide.
Since being proactive puts paychecks at risk at places like that, perhaps you can shine a light on the situation by leaving the following letter someplace where your CEO might read it…and be inspired to act positively.
Here’s to progress and ending the need for anonymity!
A fascinating happenstance that bubbles up while I’m conducting diversity and inclusion workshops is that many people aren’t fully aware of what stereotypes are and how they impact how we think, feel, and act toward others.
Education ends ignorance, which in turn fuels ending stereotypes, so here are 21 things you should know about them.
1. Stereotypes “constitute a person’s set of expectations about a social group’s characteristics, including traits, behaviors, and roles.”
2. Stereotypes remove individual attributes from consideration as everyone within the designated group is considered to be the same.
3. Some stereotypes are descriptive, which professor Michael Gill defines “as perceivers’ beliefs about the characteristics of a social group and indicate the attributes, roles, and behaviors that describe that group,” e.g., all women are friendly; all men like sports.
4. Other stereoptyes are prescriptive in that they define how a specific gender should be or is meant to be. Professor Gill puts it this way: they “depict the specific behavioral norms that individuals must uphold to avoid” being derided or punished by others. Examples include women should be seen and not heard; men are meant to be the bosses.
5. They’re mental shortcuts that can be helpful, e.g., “the ability to quickly categorize people based on certain factors as a way to identify threats, friends, and other people that you can interact with socially.” However, those shortcuts can quickly lead to trouble if we don’t make the effort to assess the facts before deciding how to treat someone.
5. Research shows that children have definite stereotypes about women, ethnicities. and other social groups by age 5. (more…)