For far too long, it’s been a societal norm that men are in charge. Men were expected to “bring home the bacon” while women were to take care of the children on home front. The times, they are a changin’, and even former President Obama and comedian Stephen Colbert have vocalized their opinions as to why more women should be in charge in the corporate world.
Things are changing slowly as women take more and more opportunities to prove what they are capable of. For example, the recent Women’s Marches, organized around the world, were massive, national events orchestrated and spearheaded by women. Unfortunately, there are stigmas attached to strong women in managerial positions, but it’s something that several women are learning to use to their advantage.
Women have worked hard to get where they are today, including Jenna Oltersdorf, CEO of Snackbox PR. As a woman who worked for several male CEOs in her lifetime, she took notes on how things could improve with a woman in charge. She decided she wanted to be a part of the change in the industry rather than watching from the sidelines.
Jenna Oltersdorf, CEO of Snackbox PR
Women have a thorough thought process
Contrary to popular belief, women are not always irrational. When dealing with big decisions, women take their time and contemplate several different scenarios.
Often times, they’ll create a pros and cons list to look at what direction would be best in the grand scheme of things. They also tend to seek out advice from trusted officials and consider other points of view on certain situations.
Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard.
Photo: Business Insider
Women have a diverse way of thinking
Women don’t usually see things as a contest. They think less about the end goal and more about the process of getting there. That means they are less focused on what their neighbor or competitor is doing, and more focused on their own work and how to improve it.
Women are usually more practical
The most important attribute of women may be that they are practical, not theoretical. They want to know how this new product or idea will help them. They also tend to put up with less crap in the work place. “Women tend to have little tolerance for corporate shenanigans and ethical gray areas,” Patricia Sellers, co-founder of SellersEaston Media, said in a 2014 “Fortune” magazine article.
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post and Thrive Global.
Women work harder than men
While I’m sure this stings the ego of some readers, it’s the truth. Women work harder than men because we have to. There is still a wage gap that women in America are fighting against and now, more than ever, it’s important for females to show companies and leaders why they deserve equal pay. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women outnumber men in general. Women make up 47 percent of the workforce, but “women still lag in leadership positions, holding only five percent of top corporate positions and a minority of positions in elected legislatures,” CNN says.
Due to the stigma that surrounds women, and women in charge, females in the workplace must work harder to prove they are worthy of the same respect as their male counterparts. Not to mention the fact that a woman’s work is never truly over. According to Pew Research Center, women still carry the brunt of responsibility in their home life as well. So basically, women are constantly working two jobs.
Women are better at multitasking
A BCM Psychology study found that while both women and men slow down when given more than one task, the women in the study outperformed the men in the multi-tasking paradigms. Considering the aforementioned Pew Research study, women are constantly multitasking between working and being in charge at home, so it only makes sense that they would perform better than men in this aspect. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women are more likely than men to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 29. This is usually done while working one or two jobs at the same time as taking classes.
“Americans tend to describe leadership with tough male stereotypes, but recent leadership studies show increased success for what was once considered a ‘feminine style,’” wrote Joseph Nye, of CNN.
A new CNN/ORC poll found that eight in 10 Americans say the country is ready for its first female president. A shift is on the horizon and as a female CEO, Jenna is honored to be a part of it.
"There are no good men out there," yet another woman my age declared. At 50, I was freshly divorced after two decades of marriage and motherhood. My unhappy marriage had shattered my faith in men and romantic relationships. Based on my ex-husband's opinion of my sexual appeal, I was afraid my naked body would cause future lovers to run screaming from the room. Rather gleefully, I announced to my girlfriends that I was done with men, and sex, forever.
For the first year, I got tangled in my sheets alone every night, overjoyed to have the bed and my body to myself. I felt liberated by divorce—free to be me, skip showering, and make dinner for one. But it bothered me when women decried the scarcity of men, because I'd known so many good ones—college boyfriends, my brother, my best friend from business school, etc. The first of many naked truths gradually crept up on me: I was not going to find my juju again through self-help and yoga. The feminist in me didn't want to admit it, but going for too long without men was akin to starvation.
I didn't want another husband. But I needed men, a lot of them.
The universe signaled its approval by sending Mr. Blue Eyes to me at an airport. He was 29 and perhaps the sexiest man I'd ever kissed. Being with him convinced me, pretty decisively, that men were going to heal me, even though men had destroyed me many times before. I became the female incarnation of a divorced, clichéd older man: I bought a sports car, revamped my wardrobe, and took younger lovers. "I want five boyfriends," I told my best friend KC after that first tryst ended. "Sweet, cute, smart, nice. Enough that I won't get too attached to one." My message from the frontlines of divorce at 50 is that to restore your confidence as a woman, especially in the wake of a crushing breakup, try dating outside your comfort zone, expanding your dating pool to include partners you might never have considered before. It may not be the recipe for a lasting union, but in terms of rebuilding your self-esteem, it can work wonders.
The first thing I noticed—and liked—about dating younger men is that they didn't want to marry me or make babies with me. And I didn't want that either. Frankly, I didn't even want them to spend the night. Since I'd been 11, I'd been taught to seek out and value men who wanted commitment. To my surprise, I found it refreshing, even more authentic, to be valued not for my potential as a mate, but instead for my body, intelligence, life-experience and sexuality.
And the sex! I quickly realized that—warning, blanket stereotype coming—men under 40 are more straightforward and adventurous than older men, maybe since they were raised with the Internet. You hear so often about the scourge of crude, sexist online pornography; and I agree that the depersonalization of women as sexual playthings is deeply destructive to all genders. However, from sexting to foreplay, I found younger men uniquely enthusiastic about getting naked and enjoying sex. Every younger man found my most erotic zones faster than any man my age ever had, with a lack of hesitation men over 50 seemed unable to fathom.
Also, about my big fear of getting naked in front of a younger man? Completely unfounded. I started to shake when Airport Boy took off my sundress in our hotel room. Had he ever seen a woman my age nude? How could I stand to be skin-to-skin with a body far more perfect than mine? I had given birth to eight-pound, full-fucking-term babies. I'd nursed them, too, and at times by breasts looked (from my view at least) like wet paper towels. "You have a spectacular body," he told me instead, running his hand over the cellulite on my stomach that I despised. That night I learned that younger men who seek older women accept our physical flaws—they don't expect perfection in someone 20 years their senior. These men taught me to see my body through a positive, decidedly male lens, to focus on the pretty parts (and we all have them) rather than the flaws that we all have too, whether you're 19, 29 or 59.
I even found the pillow talk lighter, easier and more intellectually stimulating, because a younger man's world view differs so vastly from the pressures of my 20-something kids, annual colonoscopies, 401K balance and mortgage payments. They have simple financial problems, like "Can I borrow a few quarters for the parking meter outside?" or "Do you have any advice on consolidating my student loans?"
Everything feels simpler with younger men. Men under 40 seem less threatened by assertive women; they grew up with them. They like cheap beer instead of expensive wine. They don't snore (as much). Leftovers a 55-year-old would scoff at look good to them. Their erections NEVER last more than four hours. Their hard-ons end the old-fashioned way and 45 minutes later they are ready for more.
But what I enjoy most about younger men is not the sex, or the cliché that they make me feel young again—because they don't. Younger men make me feel old, and to my delight, I like that. I feel valuable around younger men, precisely because I am wiser and more experienced in life, love and between the sheets.
I know I'll never end up with one for good. The naked truth is we don't have enough in common to last. One recently put it exactly right when he told me, "I love this, but there's always gonna be a glass ceiling between us." That lack of permanence, the improbability of commitment and "forever," doesn't mean I can't pick up a tip or two about self-esteem, and enjoy the magic of human connection with younger men. And vice versa. The experience can enrich us both, making us better partners for people our own ages down the road.
*My viewpoint is from the perspective of a heterosexual woman, because I am one. But change the gender identification and/or sexual orientation to whatever works for you and let me know if the same advice holds true. Thank you.