A new study from Deloitte (read it here) examining professional perceptions of "diversity," both as a term and a workplace practice, reveals that millennials demonstrate a more positive, natural, and uncompromising understanding of the meaning than previous generations.
Rather than framing diversity in terms of equality, representative demographics, or biological attributes, as the professional precedent has historically outlined the term, millennials grasp the threads of diversity as instead being experiences, opinions, personal identity, and ideas. This is defined as cognitive diversity; millennials view the quantifiable attributes of previous diversity "quotas" as indicators of potentially variegated minds, as they can create and influence altogether different life experiences, but do not see such benchmarks as steps towards a diverse or fruitful team.
Not only does this younger workforce generation think about diversity in a radically different way, but they simultaneously identify it as an indisputable element of innovation and success.
This year, over 1,500 professionals (admittedly—mostly women) attended the Bay Area Women's Summit to discuss the economic advancement of women in a country that largely does not see gender inequality as a current concern.
Josh garnered attention at the Summit, not for his minority male representation, but for his contribution as the leader of a nation-wide campaign to realign "corporate America's anti-dad, work-first culture." This business attitude-turned-policy, he argues, stems from our cultural disregard for nurturing or caring roles. Disregard rooted in social understanding of women (the nurturing default) as being less valuable than men.
"It’s a culture left over from the 'Mad Men' world of the 1960s that no longer fits in the digitally connected, 24/7 global economy ... what a recipe for societal unhappiness and dysfunction: Women’s work is not associated with economic value and men’s value is not associated with care."
Ultimately, Josh explains, this misguided and insidious national attitude towards male and female roles, and what is to be more or lesser valued, harms modern business and family structures at nearly every level of interaction. Both women and men are subjected to identities based on values that are not their choosing, and face scrutiny for mild deviations.
Read more about this year's Bay Area Women's Summit and attendants' conclusions here.
In an effort to understand why exactly this "gender issue" between women and men in the workplace just can't seem to be resolved, Dr. Michael Kimmel sat down with The Guardian to discuss his take on the subject.
As he sees it, men have been conditioned to see their own position as baseline; the word 'gender' is synonymous with women. As such, any change in policy, no matter how slight, is understood as being a form of 'reverse discrimination' rather than an equalizing correction to flawed systems.
Read the full article, and Michael's steps changing the conversation, here.
“Let me be really clear: White men in Australia, North America and Europe are the beneficiaries of the single greatest affirmative action program in the history of the world. It is called the history of the world.”
In a recent survey of women working in Silicon Valley, 210 women were asked about their experiences with gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and unconscious sexism in the workplace.
Respondents were required to have at least 10 years of experience in their field; of these veteran professionals, 25% identified themselves as CXOs (CEO, CMO, CTO, etc.), 11% were venture capitalists, 11% identified as a founder/entrepreneur, and 11% worked in marketing.
"It is critical for men in tech to start taking real leadership, working alongside women, to create work environments that are gender equitable and welcoming to all. After all, men—who still dominate tech companies and have defined the work environments—have the power to bring about change."
Dr. Michael Kaufman weighed in on the jarring reality of the female professional experience that the survey illustrated, saying that the tech industry has a particular responsibility to confront outside perceptions of the industry that may be perpetuating such behavior.
Read Michael's full article, "Harassment in Tech: Why Men Need to Speak Out Now," published on MARC: Men Advocating Real Change.