female factor

got cojones?

I was recently on a plane having a lovely discussion with the woman sitting next to me. She was in her 60’s and was asking me about what I do which then flourished into a really great conversation on gender, workplace, the past and how far we have come etc.

After about an hour or so she got up to use the restroom. When she was gone, the man sitting on the other side of me tapped me on the shoulder “I couldn't help but over hear your conversation, do you mind if I ask you something?”

I of course agreed and this was his question...

"What do you say to boys so they don’t feel emasculated?"

I did a double take unsure if I had heard his question correctly and asked for some clarification. In short he proceeded to explain that he works for the federal government and that in his experience the government and other companies are giving jobs to women instead of men and that the woman are never “thought leaders” and often not deserving of the job but only get it because they are women and that is the big push right now.  So do I speak to boys so that they don’t get discouraged by this? 

It is not often that I am left , and speechless. In this moment, however, I was. He was not rude but there was something in his tone that told me I needed to tread softly. (also not really a strong point of mine) An airplane is not the best place to have a conversation like this...while there are emergency exits, they are not exactly an option.

But here is the thing, some of what he said isn't necessarily wrong. Across the nation there are programs working specifically to help women get jobs and research shows that women are getting employed in record numbers. But does that mean they are "stealing" jobs from men? Are they not qualified?

I would argue that they are very qualified. In fact women are working to get qualified, consider this: 

1990-2008
women’s median income in the US grew 29% compared to 2% for men

Women are making all of this headway because they have chosen to go out and get educated. While there are programs for women today (thank goodness), they aren't just given to women. Women are working for them. Need proof?

As I thought about how I would respond to this gentleman, I realized that providing all of these stats and other similar ones was probably not going to make him feel any better. Instead I focused on the fact that what I speak about is not focused on emasculating anyone or saying that any one gender is better than another. I also tried to express that at the end of the day, it shouldn't be about one gender being better than another, one race better than another, one sexual preference being better than another. It's about providing opportunities for EVERYONE that is willing to go after it. 

Our conversation was nice. He accepted my explanation and gave me a few things to think about as well. At the end of the day isn't that what it's all about?

I am not sure that this post was necessarily about anything in particular. I just felt like the experience should be shared. So, there you have it

sources:

Why She Buys - Bridget Brennan

the economy of gender in sports...my day with the university of san francisco

This week I had the pleasure of being able to speak at the University of San Francisco. It was such a great experience to talk about "The Economy of Gender in Sports" with a group of people just embarking on the career as students in the Sports Marketing Master's Program. You can see how excited they are to start the next chapter and be part of an industry that they love. There is something contagious about that. It almost makes you want to go back. (I said ALMOST)

The part that excited me the most was seeing how many women were in the room. Traditionally sports hasn't been the most welcoming place for women but in the last decade or so things have slowly started to change and these women were proof of that. What struck me though was what followed my presentation. A number of the ladies came up to me (which is common after speaking) but it was what they said that was truly inspiring to me. 

One of the women explained that she had not previously known how she would fit into the industry and if it was the right place for her but seeing the data and information, she saw it and was excited about what that could mean for her future. Another said that she had always wanted to do this but that this just made it real. And yet another said that she had never been on the dge of her seet for a presentation before adn for this she was. The reason for this had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the content. 


Often times as women, we know what we want to do or we know we want to do something but it is rare that we are able to see in advance where the opportunities are and how we can ft in and being able to share details of the industry and how women fit in allows women to see a path and have the confidence to move forward. It is not lost on me that I get to be the microphone for that cause. It is because of this I thought I would share a little bit of the information I shared with them to hopefully help you get inspired to get out there too.

with education comes opportunities and financial security, look how many women are getting educated, not just in the US but beyond.  - SOURCE:    Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan

with education comes opportunities and financial security, look how many women are getting educated, not just in the US but beyond.  - SOURCE: Why She Buys by Bridget Brennan

Interested Yet? Want to learn more? Have an event, company or occasion you need a speaker for? Let's talk, go to the HIRE ME page and connect with me.

P.S. One last thing. Major shout out to the University of San Francsico Sports Marketing Management program for inviting me to participate and the students in the program for having such a great dialog and reminding me why I do what I do.