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September 2019
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The Richer Sex

Being Inspired by Female Role Models

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

Saturday morning reinforced for me just how much the world is changing for women.

 

I was getting my 10-year old daughter, Sophie, ready for a school football match.

 

Ten years ago, maybe five years ago, well – let’s be honest, maybe even five months ago, before the Olympics – there would have been very few of us who had any idea about women’s football, and even less idea about who the role models of women’s football might be.

 

Not anymore.

 

I asked Sophie which position she wanted to play. “I want to be the goal shooter like Kelly Smith,” she said.

 

Ten years old, and already she has a female football role model. How fantastic is that!

 

Kelly Smith, I salute you for what you have done to inspire a new generation of women. You can read more about Kelly in her autobiography.

 

This experience was all the more salient to me since for the last few weeks I have been immersing myself in books like The End of Men, by Hanna Rosin, The Richer Sex, by Liza Mundy, and Little Miss Geek, by Belinda Parmar.

 

The message of the first two, loud and clear, is that the time for women is coming, due to trends in education, work and family life that are about to reach a tipping point. In contrast, Belinda Parmar is on a mission to get more women interested in and working in the technology field – a hugely laudable goal.

 

I’ll write more on all of these topics in future blogs. For now, though, I thought it was salient that one of the points in Belinda’s 10-point Lady Geek Manifesto to increase the number of women in technology was to provide and celebrate female technology role models – a Female Heroes Programme.

 

As Sophie’s experience attests, this matters. Kelly Smith is already doing this for football, inspiring young girls like Sophie.

 

It’s time to celebrate great women across every field of endeavour, as we have started to do in previous posts on The Capp Blog, including The 21 Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising, Here are (some of) the Women in Tech, Where are the Women Conference Speakers? and Celebrating Women’s Strengths on International Women’s Day.

 

For the “little Sophies” all around the world, we should seize every opportunity we can to inform and inspire them with the possibilities and potential of women.

 

The future is going to be female, after all.

 

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The Great Gender Debate

Posted by: Alex Linley

 

The weekend newspapers have again been full of the gender debate about how men and women are faring relative to each other, especially in the workplace but also in education, relationships, lifestyle and ambitions.

 

A lot of this commentary has been triggered by two books that showcase the evidence for why women’s development and progress is outpacing men’s, and then go on to suggest what this could mean for our future.

 

The main basis for the arguments in The Richer Sex (by Liza Mundy) and The End of Men (by Hanna Rosin) is that girls are doing better than boys in education, and then go on to enter higher-paying professions in greater numbers than men. In turn, this pattern means that women have increasing economic freedom, and with that, increasing choice over how they live their lives and who they live them with.

 

Increasing autonomy and choice are good for any human being, especially for people who have been in situations where combinations of circumstances have deprived them of this. But it’s a dangerous assumption to think that all women will want the same things as men are perceived to have traditionally wanted – such as a place on the board or a high-powered role with all the pressures and responsibilities – and sacrifices – that accompany it.

 

Through our Women at Work Survey, we’re striving to understand the real drivers for women in the modern age. What do you want from work as a woman? What are the things that have shaped your career and development to date? What do you want to achieve in the future? Who do you learn from and aspire to be like?

 

It’s our view that many women’s voices have not yet been heard, being drowned out by the clamour for putting more women on the board. Let me be clear – I support this – but I also support the right of any person to decide that this isn’t what they want, and to choose an alternative path instead.

 

We would love to hear about your experiences and aspirations as a woman at work, so please join us in completing the Capp Women at Work Survey. As a thank you to all our participants, we are offering a prize draw for an iPad 3 and three runner-up prizes of a Spa Day.

 

Please help us understand more about what women want from work by sharing the survey link with others.

 

You can also let us know your own thoughts on women at work and in leadership by posting your Comments on The Capp Blog below.

 

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