Women, did you want a paycheck during the most recent recession? You’d better use a gentle tone; your job was on the line. Want your rights? Speak softly (and give the big stick to the man sitting next to you).
Between the weekend’s Jobs section of the New York Times and a mid-week discussion over lunch with Suraya Pakzad, a strident women’s rights activist in Afghanistan, I got the message loud and clear: if women want to be heard, we need to watch our words. Our lives (and livelihood) depend on it.
As most people know, in the United States, women comprise a majority of the workforce. Yet according to a recent Corporate Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum, “women employees are usually concentrated in middle-level or even entry positions and remain still hard to find in board or senior management positions in most industries and countries… barriers to women in top jobs included a ‘lack of role models.’ Others included the ‘general norms and cultural practices’ and ‘masculine or patriarchal corporate culture.’