Every year, usually in March, we have an Equal Pay Day, and ideally, the public debate centers for a few days on how and why women still do not have equal rights and, for example, earn considerably less than men. Unfortunately, there are still voices (mostly from men) that doubt women’s inequality. The examples here are so numerous, the cases so far reaching across society, income and also business that men/women have to ask themselves: How can it still go on today?
How can it be that a few men are celebrated if they drive home earlier sometimes to pick the children up from school, while the task is automatically assumed for women? How can it be that, in interviews, male managers are rarely asked about their roles as fathers, but female managers are often asked, where their children are when they are at work?
I do not wish to compile a treatment of the issue here, there is already a lot of excellent literature. However, based on the examples it is clear that we, as a society, still have a lot to catch up on here, and that change is urgently necessary. So what is particularly important to me at this point – especially in a business context – and something that we can all take into consideration in our daily work, is representation. How many female supervisory board members do you know? How many female experts were invited to your company as guest speakers over the past years? How many successful women do you follow on LinkedIn or Xing and share their posts? How many female authors are there on your bookshelf for your specialist area?
By asking this kind of question, you can check what your own personal habits have been and then consciously steer your attention towards the under-representation of women in business. And that doesn’t only apply to women, but equally for PoCs2, people with disabilities, and queer people. If white males between 40-60 years old continue to dominate on the radio, television, in print media, on stages, book tours, and in particular in daily business life, how can anything change in people’s minds?
Change starts with all of us, and usually in small steps. That’s why I would wish that every one of us questions themselves and tries to challenge the things we have learned and reproduced over and over again more often. Each one of us can make a contribution towards making our environment – that is, the area on which we also have a direct influence – a bit more fair. Visibility is an instrument of power. Use it fully consciously and contribute to the necessary change!