Has anyone besides me noticed the seismic shift in how the U.S. is now speaking to and about women? Perhaps because I’m a woman I’ve certainly noticed – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. It seems to me that the #metoo movement has had a lot of repercussions and one of them that I see is a shift in how the written and spoken word, to and about women, has changed.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about and, as I said, it may be my new perspective on this rather than the change itself. Please share any examples you’ve seen, too!
- The infographic (above) about the best employers for women in the U.S., of companies surveyed with over 1,000 employees. While I’m not thrilled that the top two companies are in what I would call one of the “pink” industries (cosmetics), it’s good that these companies, focused on women as their target market, are also focusing on their female employees. Bravo!
It’s nice to see other industries focusing on women employees, from academia to banking and financial services (typically more male-focused), to real estate and healthcare. The packaged goods industry has been favorable to women for years so it’s no surprise these companies comprise 30% of the top 10 places. All these industries realize that if they want to reach out to female customers in their marketing, they need to be good to women internally as well.
2) This article, published in October 2018 by a team of women at McKinsey & Co: Women in the Workplace 2018. Notice that McKinsey has been publishing this report for four years – they’ve been on or ahead of the curve of concern about women in the workplace. And they were smart enough to have this team of women write it.
As a premier consulting firm, McKinsey understands they need to be in this boat rather than out of it to market to smart women as potential employees and to retain them, as well. I find the language in this year’s report about priorities, targets, holding leadership accountable, and gender pay gaps refreshing, as they recommend that organizations approach gender diversity in the workplace:
“…like the business priority it is, from setting targets to holding leaders accountable for results. It requires closing gender gaps in hiring and promotions, especially early in the pipeline when women are most often overlooked. And it means taking bolder steps to create a respectful and inclusive culture so women—and all employees—feel safe and supported at work.”
And it should not be lost on the men at McKinsey that their prospective clients will be increasingly female. Therefore it’s good to have more parity in their own workplace, so they can market effectively to that “new” demographic of clients!
3) The Wall Street Journal has seen the light and been publishing and podcasting about women’s issues. Here’s an article about How Women Can Confidently Speak Up for What They Want. The article points to ways women, who often “struggle with confidence,” will not receive the promotions or the paycheck they deserve, so this lack of confidence has “real implications for their career advancement and pay.”
Again, this admission women are underpaid has now become the norm and the launching place for articles, rather than the point that women have been trying to establish and get fixed since the 1963 Equal Pay act.
While articles and podcasts like these, i.e. sharing how “successful women from all walks of life share their financial and career tips to help empower women and improve their financial savvy,” it’s important these publications walk the fine line between blaming the female victim for her lack of parity and being helpful so women can improve their careers and lives.
There are countless more examples. And while these publications and companies know they are reaching out to women as their customers and clients, they understand that society’s shifting values about women in the workplace need to be addressed in their own organizations, as well as in their marketing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this shift – do you see it, too?