Life evolves, work evolves. People evolve and women in their life and in their work continue to grow in influence and buying power. At this year’s CDN Women in the IT Channel Recognition Luncheon, our keynote, Ayelet Baron, fiercely brought home this message. Baron stated, “Women world-wide control 15 trillion of spending power in a universal pie of 18 trillion dollars. Yet, we continue to wait to be ‘picked’ rather than to take our power. From the podium at the gorgeous botanical Edwards Gardens she asked a room full of educated, well-dressed professional women to “wake-up” and understand what is possible with this type of earning dominance. We are no longer a powerless gender. With all the changes occurring in today’s environment, we the female collective, should embrace the new employment contract that will be upon us by 2020.
There remains too many of us, women and men, who think, act and believe work structure remains within the processes and results of 20th century antiquated management practices.
According to Ayelet Baron, there is a whole new world of possibilities, if you are prepared to use your imagination. Without stating the obvious, Ayelet is also stating the days of ‘Standards’ are no longer the most attractive ways forward–be it an ISO standard, an HR standard, a PMI standard. Standards are taught and we are programmed to believe this is the way you do your work. This is the way you progress through your career. This is the way to divvy up your life and work to find prosperity and balance.
Yet, from this passionate woman, we hear something very different. Research tells us that by 2020 up to fifty percent (50%) of the workforce will opt for self-employment. One can push this statistic a bit further to say with 40% of employed Canadians working in a public-sector, NGO or related type affiliate institution, be it education or health, there will be little to go around for corporate Canada. One can also determine the opportunities for women will become that much greater, when through forced circumstance the gender pay gap finally evens out.
Ayelet Baron calls herself a futurist. She is a woman, once hired to predict polling trends for the Globe and Mail before becoming a corporate strategist for the likes of Cisco. Such training and experience can realistically determine what work will look like and what should look like. We no longer have to wait for a future state that will hold a magic bullet to correct the balances in our lives.
We live in a great country where women and men can take up to one year of maternity/paternity leaves. Today there are myriad organizations to help mentor rising stars and coach young girls to embrace STEM education because they will be given fair opportunities to compete in today’s terms. But even with WW statistics still showing we still require fair pay correction, with women overall earning 23% less pay than their male counterparts, we remain hopeful. We can take proactive steps now to correct the unreachable work/life balance that overwhelms too many parenting but working Mothers. And though more negative statistics from the World Wide Economic Forum state pay equity will take seventy plus years to overturn, in interpreting the words from this year’s keynote, it’s time to adopt a new mindset when looking at your life as a whole. We must stop creating our buckets of categories and embrace all that is in our life to find such a balance. In doing so we can unleash our greatest potential.
For more on Ayelet Baron’s keynote click here.