Advancing the gender agenda: Creating a new and positive narrative – Fiona Tatton, Womanthology Editor

Gender agenda

The gender agenda: Wakey wakey – rise and shine?

Fiona Tatton - Womanthology Founder and Editor

Fiona Tatton

Welcome to issue 9. Tuesday 24th June marked Midsummer’s Day in the UK. As I sit writing now at 9.21pm it is still relatively bright outside. It is a pink sky tonight, so somewhere, a shepherd (male or female) is delighted. Or so the saying goes…

I’m regularly woken before the crack of dawn (I know because it’s still dark) by early birds wide awake and catching worms. Their work ethic is admirable. Early morning tweeting of the other sort is often the preserve of several of my Womanthology contacts. Many tweeters take to their smartphones as they rise and shine – post getting the kids ready for the day or as they psyche themselves up for the morning commute.

I love the first flurry of morning tweets; they get your brain going. There’s always something new to learn; something new to share. In our 24/7 global media culture I’m now adjusting to what’s happening at what time in what region. (There’s nothing worse than getting your Asia Pacific mixed up with your American Eastern Standard Time dahhllliiinngggg…)

Gender diversity: We’re all in it together..?

Twitter has helped me realise that challenges around the gender diversity agenda are surprisingly similar across the industrialised world. In order for economies to grow as they fight their way out of recession, they need to address gender imbalances in the workplace and encourage female entrepreneurship, not only to appease and placate the female workforce and talent pool (heaven forbid) but to go for out and out, common sense, all hands to the pumps, sustainable economic growth.

Smart leaders (female and male) have clocked that if half your workforce is underutilised and under paid, that’s one heck of a waste of economic (and social) potential.

Intelligent networks: Are we nearly there yet?

To top it all, women are organising themselves into intelligent networks. (I first heard this term from Sitara Warren) and she’s totally right; women are outstanding networkers, utilising social media to share knowledge and experience.

What is making things really interesting though is how this collective learning and wisdom is starting to have a positive ripple effect.

Imagine if you could synthesise all these ideas and present the case for positive change in such a compelling manner that thoughtful and intelligent people (men and women) could see only benefits – like a positive Catch 22 situation.

Let’s shift the gender diversity narrative to a truly positive one.

Strong men aren’t afraid of strong women

In my experience, emotionally strong men have no fear of working alongside, or even working for strong women. We’ve all got dads / husbands / boyfriends / brothers / friends who are men and they’ve all got daughters / wives / girlfriends / sisters / friends who are women. There’s a growing group of Womanthology supporters who are men, in addition to our core audience of women. What can’t we achieve when we all work together?

As Barrack Obama said at a Women in STEM event on 26th June, “You don’t play as well if you’ve only got half the team.”

Well said, Mr President. He’s right. But you know what? It works both ways. We’re all in it together. Ladies (and gentlemen) it’s time to get smart and get working together.

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