“Consent is a function of power. You have to have a modicum of power to give it. In many cases women do not have that power because their livelihood is in jeopardy and because they are the gender that is oppressed by a daily, invisible war waged against all that is feminine—women and humans who behave or dress or think or feel or look feminine.”
The good news is that Millennials – those between the ages of 18 and 32 – have closed the divide more than ever before. Women in that group now earn 93 cents for every dollar earned by men, the narrowest gender wage gap since measurement began. (The average wage gap across generations is 84 cents to every dollar.)
The perception of high school girls that they are simply not good at technology is simply incorrect—they are first adopters. And other data bolster this argument, as it turns out that women may be better than men when it comes to leading a technology start-up.
“Women-operated, venture-backed high tech companies average 12 percent higher annual revenues. They also use on average one-third less capital than male counterparts’ startups.”
We’ve done lots of research on why young women don’t choose tech careers and number one is they think it’s not interesting. Number two, they think they wouldn’t be good at it. Number three, they think they will be working with a number of people that they just wouldn’t feel comfortable or happy working alongside.
As late as the 1960s many people perceived computer programming as a natural career choice for savvy young women. Even the trend-spotters at Cosmopolitan Magazine urged their fashionable female readership to consider careers in programming. In an article titled “The Computer Girls,” the magazine described the field as offering better job opportunities for women than many other professional careers. As computer scientist Dr. Grace Hopper told a reporter, programming was “just like planning a dinner. You have to plan ahead and schedule everything so that it’s ready when you need it…. Women are ‘naturals’ at computer programming.” James Adams, the director of education for the Association for Computing Machinery, agreed: “I don’t know of any other field, outside of teaching, where there’s as much opportunity for a woman.”
Birchbox has figured out a way to get women to pay money to be marketed to. The last time that happened: glossy women’s magazines, but this is a smarter, interactive version of that. The boxes cost twice the price of a newsstand magazine and you get five or six samples. They’re often themed (travel, summertime, partnerships with Gossip Girl, Gwenneth Paltrow’s Goop, or Glamour magazine). The boxes contain editorialized descriptions of the products that direct users to check out how-to videos on Birchbox.com. Friendly email reminders drive traffic to the site’s editorial content as well. Beauty obsessed subscribers tape themselves “unboxing” their package each month.
That doesn’t happen with a magazine.
Ambition cannot be taught, but it can be crushed.
Women still operate from a position of scarcity rather than a position of abundance. But we should not have to live with the paralyzing fear that this one will “get away.” Men don’t. Instead, they see windows of opportunity and encourage ambitious young men to walk through them. All too often, we encourage young women to look down the road well before they are there, and to look down, instead of up, along the way. But lowered eyes and folded arms do not lead to excellence.