I have just finished reading “The Female Vision” by Sally Helgesen and Julie Johnson. It is worth the time. And the time is now. We are in such a powerful, yet vulnerable position in leadership in the workplace at this time when everything seems upside down and inside out.
I will get back to The Female Vision in a minute. First, I digress to make a point. Last week I watched a rerun of “Dirty Dancing”, that fabulous film with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. It was a coming of age movie about a teen age girl and a summer love that took place at the end of the 1950’s.
In the last scene at the Catskill resort the owner and one of his trusted associates, two men who had been together for years, helped each other through the Great Depression, World War Two, and so many other ups and downs watched the younger generation dancing their hearts out in newfangled gyrations that seem tame by today’s standards.
By the end, they acknowledged to each other that times were changing as they also joined in awkwardly moving their bodies to the music of “The Time of Our Lives”. It is a poignant moment when the old blends with the new and no one really knows where this pivotal time will take them.
That is how I felt reading “The Female Vision”. We k now the times they are changing. We have been through decades of women being heard in new ways. Yet, there is more to happen. And now is the time.
Women are joining and then leaving the ranks of the high level corporate world and, as the book points out are saying “It’s just not worth it”. And I agree. It is not worth it in the form that it is in today. The business world is like the Catskill resort of old. Based on industrial revolution thinking, based still, on the older dominator model of male top down perspective, it is not a place friendly to women and their specific talents.
Yet, rather than leave, this book argues that we women can and need to be more vocal about what we value, how we see relationships, and how we are able to connect the dots of situations. It underlines what we are discussing in our new GUTSY women weekend retreat. Here we are exploring the essence of what a new workplace could look like if it includes the concept that
“we are all in it together and no one wins unless we all do”.
This is also a pivotal time when women’s ways are ready to blend more effectively with men’s and no one really knows where it is going. And yet, there is the challenge and excitement of the unknown. It’s about you, it’s about me, and it’s about time!