WORKSPAN
From the Editor |

Goodbye, Old Boys' Club. Hello, Girl Power.

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Dan Cafaro
Editor-in-Chief of Workspan magazine. 

Women are the glue that holds this world together. They also are the glue that holds the modern workplace together. I hold these truths to be self-evident and challenge my male counterparts to fight these claims in the court of public opinion.

To make my case, I introduce as Exhibit 1 the behavior of average men at a traditional all-you-can-eat beefsteak, North Jersey-style. Go ahead and laugh. You may think I’m kidding. But the evidence of man’s precipitous fall from grace begins conceptually with tables of beef and beer.

The American Psychological Association (APA) last year issued a stern warning in its first set of guidelines on male mental health in 127 years: In short, APA concluded, traditional masculinity ideology is harmful and damaging. It has been shown to “limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health.”

This column is meant as no slight against men. Actually, maybe it is a long-deserved slight. (Don’t worry, he-man. You’ll get over it.)

In honor of Women’s History Month, we celebrate women’s immeasurable impact on the workplace with the cover story, “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” The piece reports that gender equality, rather than a duh, no-brainer in the year 2019, remains an ever-evasive reality, a conundrum. Despite all the progress and accomplishments of women and society at large, it appears that more — oodles of Y chromosomes more — needs to be done, first and foremost by men.

Women make up more than 56% of college students nationwide and earn more than half of bachelor’s degrees (57.2%), master’s degrees (59.2%) and doctorate degrees (52.7%), according to the National Center for Education Statistics. They also make up 47% of the U.S. labor force, up from 30% in 1950, according to Pew Research Center.

What may be surprising is that this development of female “superiority” isn’t recent. Women have earned more bachelor’s degrees than men since 1982. They’ve also earned more master’s degrees than men since 1987 and more doctorate degrees than men since 2006.

Look, brother: We can no longer sit idly by or, worse yet, defend any practice or behavior that contributes to the inequity of paychecks. Nor can we be all right with the misogynistic locker-room behavior of men or the underrepresentation of women in the C-suite, particularly in certain male-dominated sectors.

Say goodbye to the old boys’ club. Put that mentality on the endangered species list. Write the date of extinction in permanent marker. Pronto. Problem solved, right?

Alas, no. There’s no simple overnight fix for this age-old dichotomy. But just as the #MeToo movement inspired more women to run for office, there’s empowerment in numbers. Men are finally stepping up to become true allies. Once that bird takes flight, there will be no stopping more women from becoming the thought leaders and bold visionaries this world so desperately needs.

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