‘In a hundred years [...] women will have ceased to be the protected sex. Logically they will take part in all the activities and exertions that were denied them.’ Virginia Woolf wrote this in 1929. Almost a hundred years have passed so the time has come to ask ourselves: Is Virginia Woolf going to be right? Do women now participate in every area of society that was once forbidden ground?
A few weeks ago the headlines in the Dutch papers shouted that ‘we’ had failed to realize a minimum of 30 percent women occupying positions on boards and in the top of corporations. Despite significant commitment to the advancement of women’s careers, progress appears to have stalled. The percentage of women on boards and senior-executive …show more content…
The broader problem of women trying to enter certain areas of society and having to use a medium which is essentially a male instrument fashioned for male purposes, is still very relevant. What are the areas in life where a woman has to renounce her femininity in order to get where she wants to be, or to do what she wants to do? Even more; What positions or jobs does a woman think she is not able to fulfil because she is not able to think outside of the male perception of the position/job. Is the business-top one of the areas in which women still have to ‘act like men do’ in order to get the job, or fulfil it according to the expectations (of men)? In other words: What cultural factors limit the progress of gender-diversity in top-management?
Change and Possibly...Progress
Jim Bennett (1976 McKinsey Quarterly) noted that companies taking an honest look at how they handled the advancement of women were likely to uncover ‘thorny attitude-based problems’ that ‘will take much longer and prove much more difficult to solve’ than ‘sex-based differences in benefits plans and obviously biased employment literature.’ He suggests that cultural factors continue to play a central role in achieving (or missing) diversity goals. Isn’t this very comparable to the problem female writers