I was fascinated watching the Tom Hanks special on CNN “The SIXTIES: The Times They are A-Changin’.” One segment is about the role of women 50 years ago. And as I sat back I wondered what has really changed for the better.
The actor Jack Palance who represented the big, strong, silent guy who would always be there to take care of the “little woman” was asked his definition of a husband, and without missing a beat said “I believe a guy is in charge all the time and that’s how it should be.”
Where are we now? Women in the western world are not only taking care of themselves, they are often helping to take care of their “main man.” While not a landslide, many men are now staying home and being the main caretaker of children while their wives work.
This is becoming a conscious decision.
It is not whose biology is the better fit for child care, it is who has the intention and desire for working from home in a new way while the other partner is at the office.
In my book “GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change” I discuss the double bind of the past that suggested a “uterus-brain” dilemma. There was actually research that indicated that childbirth made women less intellectually capable. Can you believe it!!
So, where are we now?
Women are entering the work place and into management positions at the same rate as men. Organizations who commit to developing high potential women see the results as work cultures are more balanced; communication and collaboration are more inclusive and less divisive.
Here is my formula for what has changed in a positive way: Women have become more daring and men more caring.
Daring + Caring= Sharing
Let’s hope the rest of the world catches up quickly.