Leveling the Playing Field

September 14, 2014

It seems that every decade that goes by, women are getting closer to leveling the playing field. But is that really true?

When I look at the strides women have made over the centuries, it does seem that women have come very far, but then I look at how far they still have to go to achieve the same things that men seem to accomplish without having to jump through the same hoops that women do, and it seems as though they are in a self-defeating race for equality.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that women have been making is that they have been trying to gain equality based on the same criteria that men use. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, emphasizes the need for women to “lean in” but why should women have to lean in? Why should they use a different standard of measurement than men do?

There are some women, precious few, who are able to climb the corporate ladder and reach the top but, compared to men, just look at all the male CEOs out there who have a fraction of a woman’s drive, ambition, and skill sets, and a woman with the same drive, ambition, and skill sets, in the same field, and we get a very clear picture of just how uneven the playing field is, and how very far we have to go to level it.

When it comes to physical strength, men will always have the advantage of upper body strength and, unless they are taken by surprise, most men will be able to overpower a woman. If they are both the same age, neither of them having had formal training, men will win the contest.

There is one area where men and women, of equal intelligence, skill sets, and networking skills, can compete on a level playing field and that is in the area of entrepreneurship.

Women have always been known for their creativity but they have not always had the opportunity to make a good living with it. However, if you look at the number of successful businesses started by men, you’ll find that the adage, “behind every successful man is a woman” is true.

If women could get past their fear of failure, they would figure out a way to get the financing they need to start their own business and they could win the battle of entrepreneurship.

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