Monday, April 29, 2013

WOMEN ARE NOT MEN. It's a good thing.

As a woman on the go, you will often find me driving the many highways that define the geography of Southern California.  I log about 18,000 miles per year and am a self-proclaimed 'Road Warrior'.  I recently purchased a new hybrid with an outlet for plugging in my phone and, for the first time in my life, have discovered the world of Podcasts.  The soundtrack to my road trips has transitioned from pop songs with the occasional country ballad to comedic news casts and cultural programs -- and I love it!  Freakonomics recently produced a podcast titled 'Women are not Men' and I was laughing and learning all the way up the 405.

Here are my 3 favorite key takeaways:   
1.      Only 7.5% of patents have been filed by women.  And our Per Capital GDP would grow an estimated 3% if women were to file more patents.
2.      Women are far less likely to get struck by lightning or drown.
3.      Women only count for 16% of the Wikipedia editors.

Take what you want from these facts, but the underlying point is that the lack of desire to be confrontation in most women accounts for much of numbers 1 and 3.  I will leave the back story for number 2 to your imagination.

As the gender gap is closing, the typical personality traits inherent in the female sex continue to influence our decision making from the everyday mundanes to the boardroom .  I, for one, think this is a GREAT thing!  To my girls out there, we don't need to push ourselves to be aggressive beyond our comfort zone and we don't need to behave like a man in this world to get what we want... Do your thing and just be YOU.  The gender gap is continuing to close, women are continuing to make progress in so many areas of society, and we are doing it OUR way. 

The Freakonomics podcast closed with a discussion about crime statistics.  Not to my surprise, women commit far less crime than men.  Undoubtedly, this is a function of the same inherent trait to be less confrontational than men. 

I am, and will always be, an advocate for women to continue to grow and evolve their role in things like leadership (governmental and corporate), earning power, and the general work-life balance.  However, I found this particular podcast to be a fantastic reminder that 'us girls' don't need to act like men in order to achieve such success.  We can do it in our own way and do not need to create some internal battle to change who we are as women. 

Keep up the hard work, ladies, and embrace the feminine ways that keep us from getting hit by lightening -- or is that just a function of common sense?  To be determined in a later discussion...

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