20-30 years ago, the notion that “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” was widely considered. Cut to today- think of the pandemic; think of the global issues facing our future; think of recent news and trends. Do you see good people coming together to end stereotypes or that everyone shares and cares today? One can certainly argue that is not the case. But, can women still be labeled as being “from Venus?”
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5 Key Takeaways
The gender difference is a myth: “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” is now truly a myth. Not only have we learned that, from a biological perspective, there is no difference in brain functioning between gender, we’ve also seen traditional gender roles shift over time. Its now common to see stay at home dads and females as the sole breadwinners for their families.
Priorities shift over time – and that’s okay: For many modern women, their priorities will shift several times throughout the course of their life. For some, the shift happens when moving from academics to work. For others, from work to family – and then eventually back to work. In today’s society, all “challenges” create opportunities for realignment of priorities and goals, and it’s totally natural and okay for these to be different at different stages of life.
The way we’re taught to perceive ourselves is still gendered – and that’s okay: Growing up, the way we’re taught to consider ourselves and our own qualities still varies greatly between genders. However, this in and of itself can be an asset in the workplace, because by constantly being told something growing up, we tend to believe it and embrace it. By being okay with these differences, each respective gender brings a different and important subset of characteristics to the workplace.
One example relates to emotions. Women are often raised feeling like it’s good to express their emotions and be aware of them, making others aware of them too. This adds an important human touch to workplace interactions. Women are also often raised to communicate these feelings, which helps foster trust and shared communication on a team.
To overcome stereotypes, focus on individuals: There will always be unconscious bias in the workplace, no matter how hard we work to create a welcoming and inclusive environment. In order to help overcome unintentionally judging others for the choices they make when it comes to balancing their work and their life, it’s important to step back from generalizing and instead focus on the individual. By simply dismissing aspects about them to a generalization (eg. you’re moody because you’re PMSing or you’re being too controlling because you’re an alpha male) you lose the ability to relate to them. Instead, focus on the individual instead of their group category.
Change and failure bring growth: No matter what life throws at you, you can guarantee that there will be change, and there will be inevitable failures. But, no matter what, these things are not there to stop you from succeeding; rather, change and failure help show to you that you can overcome anything and will be successful. Embrace the challenges that life throws at you because they are the things that help mold you, motivate you, and ultimately drive you towards your ultimate goal or passion in life.
“When you stereotype, you’re not even giving mind to the individual because you categorize them as a group.”
When you’re trying to figure out what kind of human being they are, you need to figure out their mind. Focus on the individual instead of their group category.