The times they are a-turning!

One of my senior male leaders walked up to me the other day and said “OMG boss you have practically turned me into a woman!” When I laughingly asked him why, he recounted that he had just spent the last hour counselling a young woman and a new mother on his team on the best ways to feed a new born baby!
Now to my mind it isn’t necessarily a bad thing that men should morph into women, that’s called evolution after all 🙂 But be that as may, in this VUCA world where all norms are breaking and we are so hell-bent on not following the traditions and teachings that our ancestors have laid out for us, it is about time that we also reevaluate gender roles and responsibilities to suit the modern day and age, right?

While increasing women’s participation in the work force improves the economic condition of the family, increases the profitability of the organization and the GDP of a country, is a widely accepted fact; the roles women are given within any organization is also an important way to improve diversified thinking which in turn better helps an organization manage change and innovation. Unfortunately, the stereotypes about women being nurturers and men being hunters have stayed with us and dictate our interaction with each other even in professional lives. So HR which is supposedly a collaborative function is more suitable for women and sales which is cut throat and competitive is suited to males is an accepted trope.

Men and women working collaboratively in a corporate environment and being put in atypical roles only enables both the sexes to tap into their dormant sides.By working closely towards a common organizational goal and in diverse non-conformist functions men for example learn to become more nurturing towards their peers/juniors, and women learn to become more assertive in their professional decisions. At the core, both men and women thereby evolve into better humans while contributing significantly to economic growth.
Sheryl Sandberg once said, “Next time you are about to call a little girl ‘bossy’, say instead: ‘She has executive leadership skills” To that, I’d like to add, “Next time you are about to call a little boy ‘sissy’, say instead: “He is highly risk aware and has good judgment”.

If only we stop asking men to apologize for so called weaknesses and stop judging women for being strong, then we will raise the coming generations to be equal and more advanced human beings, where both men and women have the freedom to share the responsibility of earning the bread as well as nurturing their progeny.
And as long as there’s food on the table to feed our stomachs and art to feed our souls, it shouldn’t matter who earns the bread or who made the croissant!