The Effects of Gender Roles in the Corporate World

It’s no secret that men and women still experience different treatment in the corporate world. If you speak to a woman, she will tell you all kinds of things about earning less money for the same type of position, having less credibility, less respect, a lack of equal opportunity in terms of advancement, etc.  Alternatively, if you speak with a man, he will say that he has to be extra careful about the comments he makes to his colleagues.  While a woman may be able to freely compliment a colleague, a man must think twice.  

Although we’ve definitely come a long way, these differences still exist.  If it weren’t for the accountability factor in reporting stats on gender ratio, I’m not sure things would have even come this far.  So now the big question, why do we need policy in order for things to change?  Sadly, as a society, we have conditioned beliefs that reside below our level of consciousness.

Before I became an expert in conscious and unconscious mind work through mindfulness and hypnotherapy, my beliefs on gender roles were very strong.  

I needed some drapes put up in my home, and I asked one of my male friends to do it and he said he would need some time because he’s a bit tied up with projects this month.  A girlfriend of mine knew I needed them put up and actually offered to do it for me. I completely brushed her off and didn’t give it any thought.  In fact, it was actually out of the question- I was determined to wait for my male counterpart to do the job.  For me, it was a no brainer that he would do the job better.

So here’s the kicker, when my girlfriend came over, she noticed an error in the positioning of the drapes and showed me why it was not the most effective way to place them.  I thought, wow, she has a point.  That was a real AHA moment for me.  I was even a little ashamed of myself for not having faith in her.  I mean, with everything that women go through in terms of credibility, here I was, contributing to the problem!

Conditioning is strong.  It’s deep seated and real!  It isn’t intentional and certainly isn’t our fault.  Conditioning has been passed down through generations, and that’s why they are issues we collectively face, as a society.  

Conscious awareness, like mandating new policies, is just not enough to create authentic and sustainable change.  All learning and change happen at an unconscious level. This calls for professional development that involves the practice of learning how to get off of autopilot and really explore our deep seated beliefs, stereotypes and biases that reside below the level of consciousness which lead to action.  Authentic exploration will then lead to critical thinking, increased resilience and compassion, which then results in improved corporate culture, and inevitable success.

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