February 19, 2013 by Colin Kelly
It’s not the money that pisses women off the most. Or the fact they’re more likely to be passed over for promotion. It’s not the forced career breaks when they have children or even the wolf whistles.
No. What pisses women off the most is when they’re not listened to.
And society as a whole is pretty bad for that.
It needs to change.
Change it because it’s the right thing to do or change it for purely selfish reasons.
You know the old way is broken beyond repair. That much is obvious. But what’s going to be in its place? What does work? Where are the opportunities? Part of it involves a commitment to being social.
And we can’t be truly social if we’re still not listening to women.
This whole Web 2.0 thing. Using technology, collaboration, better customer service, team working, more innovation, better products. You seriously think you can do any of this without women at the very heart of your organisation?
You’re going to miss out big time. The ones who ‘get it’ will zip right past you.
All the years of imbalance have taken their toll and it means some great women have ended up in some strange places. Chances are the receptionist didn’t always dream of being a receptionist. She might know how to save you serious money. The marketing assistant might run rings round the Marketing Manager. And if the Head of Sales is a woman and you really rate her, then why is she not the Sales Director and in on the board meetings? Think what she could do for you there.
Many women haven’t had the smooth career trajectory a lot of men take for granted. Some took a longer break when they started a family and came back to less senior roles. Others returned to part time. Some got fed up not being listened to and are out the game altogether.
Wherever they are, and whatever they’re doing, they’ve got a huge role to play. Sadly, there are still a few male dinosaurs kicking around who don’t know their time is up. And sometimes, better men are influenced by these arrogant pricks and go along with it, protecting the ‘old way’.
So breaking it down isn’t always easy. Where we are today is the result of decades of conditioning. So you might need to make an effort and be proactive to get things going.
But if you do, you’ll reap the benefits.
More women that ever are playing key roles and leading successful companies.
But there are many more, including some right under your nose, who could.
So listen to them.
This is a good place to start.