Daring to be different is no easy task; especially for women!
This morning I read through a special McKinsey & Company report, by Joanna Barsh and Lareina Yee titled: “Unlocking the full potential of women in the U.S. economy” . Although the report, 5 full pages, was a little lengthy for my taste, it presented numerous fascinating observations made after much thorough research and contemplation. In short, the report posits that a surefire way to increase GDP, employment, productivity and overall U.S. economic activity is to focus corporate efforts on making certain that women achieve the same roles as men in the workplace.
A particularly inspiring tidbit from the report is that “Between 1970 and 2009, women went from holding 37% of all jobs to nearly 48%”, while “the number of women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies appears stuck at 2-3%.” These two outstanding and shocking statistics respectively depict the rapidly rising number of women in the workplace but signal the stagnation and failure these women have had in making it into top roles at the largest firms.
Denzel Washington, who besides being a superb and even frightening actor, especially in movies like Man on Fire, (by far my favorite Denzel movie; so awesome I recommend those of you who haven’t seen it stop reading and Netflix it right now), and Crimson Tide , is also a fantastic orator. He recently gave the University of Pennsylvania Commencement Address on Monday, May 16, 2011 and said something truly inspiring to the graduates. “Every failed experiment is one step closer to success,” he said, and this is something I sincerely believe. Only when we try do we fail, and only when we fail, are we really trying. The only way for women to take confident steps into the upper echelons of the corporate world, is for other women to fail trying to make it there first.
Even though I value the report’s straightforwardness and its direct title, if I had published it I would have titled the report: “The Key to Unlocking the Full Potential of the U.S. Economy; Unlocking the Full Potential of U.S. Women”. The intention of my title is not to demand a drastic reworking of the subject matter of the report, which I thought was expertly executed, but rather to invoke the report’s readers to rework their own views, thoughts and approaches to the issue. Women, who feel the same way about this imbalance in corporate America, must strive, fail and eventually bloom into their full potentials by daring to be different.
Jesse Braunstein is a Junior at NYU double majoring in Economics and Psychology. Jesse joined Madison Technology and SheBytes.com in May 2011 as a summer intern. Jesse has been instrumental in utilizing his expanding background to come up with creative perspectives on the Marketing, Advertising and Business Development initiatives at both Madison Technology and SheBytes.com. Jesse’s outlook stems from an Economics and Psychology education and a deep understanding of the individual and how the individual acts within and interacts with the market. Follow Jesse on Twitter and Facebook.