Almost a year ago, well before the Google diversity manifesto made headlines, Sangita Kasturi issued a call for feminine boldness.
“When we talk about disruption, we talk about being bold. We talk about being audacious. We talk about having courage. Now are these qualities we associate with being feminine?” she asked her Chicago DisruptHR audience.
Uncomfortably, the answer was no. And why is that? Gender norms, says Kasturi, CEO of Action Inclusion. In other words, stereotyping.
So powerful are these gender norms — “Women are better at collaborating”; “Women are better caregivers” — that women believe them, too. These positive stereotypes, as Kasturi calls them, are “still reinforcing the same dichotomies that have been limiting us in the first place.”
“When it comes to women it is not about their capability, it is our inability to see it.”
What’s to be done? “Recognize women (and men) for broader attributes” says one of her slides, as she explains how and what they are.
“If you want the next disruptor to come forward pave the path for her now breaking down our assumptions of what it means to be masculine or feminine.”
Note: In partnership with DisruptHR, TLNT presents some of the best Disrupt presentations from events across North America and now the world. Disrupt talks are modeled on the TEDx concept: Short, to the point talks on all things HR — talent, culture and technology.