How Defying Stereotypes Has Become A Recipe For Success For Women In Many Industries

gender-stereotypes

To put it simply, gender stereotypes suck! They are the generalization about the roles of each gender. Here’s why gender stereotypes just don’t work anymore: because they hold both men AND women back, and don’t actually contribute anything of value to society. Focusing specifically on women, there are many of them who are proving how stereotypes do not serve anyone and in some cases can be downright discriminatory. In many jobs, gender doesn’t factor in at all. There are leading women in an array of industries proving this, which is what we are excited to share.

Did you know that the UK is a world leader in female entrepreneurialism, higher than Silicon Valley? Many female entrepreneurs and leaders are utilizing their own specific skills, previously thought to be unwelcome in the work place (such as empathy, emotion, multi-tasking and group communication) to become a positive force for companies who are now benefiting from the female brand of leadership. This is probably why ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ star Mr. Wonderful, aka entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary says he prefers female CEOs to men, and has them lead more than 50% of his businesses.

But it’s not just one industry, there are multiple areas where we are seeing women defy the stereotypes and the status quo. Government and leadership is increasingly becoming a platform where females are proving they are bringing something different and needed to the head of the table. Just recently it was reported that India is the country that has had a woman in power in government for the longest time, with the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and then former president Pratibha Patil, who both served a combined 21 years for the past 50 years.

There are other numerous women world leaders such as Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Liberia’s first female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf proving women in leadership is becoming more common and a more welcome idea even in the most conservative societies.

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Aside from leadership and entrepreneurship, the numbers of women are surging in industries traditionally known to be male-dominated. The worldwide gaming industry is no longer a “boy’s club” with numerous studies over the past few years showing women make up half of the online and console gaming audience.

These types of stats can often be very threatening to the status quo, as evidenced by the whole Gamergate scandal that plagued certain female gamers and developers in 2014, but the truth of the matter is that women are not dwindling in numbers, they are increasing, so the tropes can whine all they want, it’s not going to change.

From gaming to gambling, this is also another area thought to be a “man’s issue”, but that too has changed. A few decades ago, men were most likely to gamble in casinos than women by almost a 3 to 1 margin, however today, these odds are nearly even. It is definitely not because men have stopped gambling as they used to, but it is mainly because women are gambling more, and on games that they never used to.

Nowadays, there are equal chances that you find the same number of men and women in a casino. The online gambling industry is also experiencing the same trend, where a larger number of women are now registering on popular online bingo sites such as Bingo Extra, where they play bingo, slots, poker, roulette, blackjack, etc.

gender-stereotypes

Some of the reasons for this rise of female gambling audience is because of the easy access to the internet, and the increasingly higher social acceptance of seeing a women at a casino table – previously been considered a man’s turf. There are many women who have defied stereotypes and broken barriers to make their mark in the world of professional poker, such as Vanessa Selbst, Vanessa Rousso, Liv Boeree, where they are able to match wits equally against men.

The final industry we should point out (although there are many we could mention) is sports. In the US we are seeing women break gender barriers and pave the way for other women to come in their wake. Just recently we saw Jen Welter get crowned as the first female coach in the NFL, working for the Arizona Cardinals. In basketball, Becky Hammon was named as the first female coach in the NBA, bringing the San Antonio Spurs the summer league trophy and a whole load of cred for female coaches as well.

While there are sports where women are proving their worth alongside men, various female sporting associations are finally being given more attention from the media and fans, something which has been lacking, as well as sponorship and money.

gender-stereotypes

This summer the nation collectively celebrated the US Women’s National Soccer Team’s 3rd World Cup win in Canada, making them champions whichever way you look at it. The final against Japan saw more viewers than any other broadcast soccer game in the US, period! The only downside is the abysmal discrepancy in pay for the women compared to the USMNT who are yet to win a World Cup, let alone make it to a final.

In UFC (a sport that owner Dana White vowed women would never compete in), Ronda Rousey continues to assert her dominance in the ring, first beating Cat Zingano in 14 seconds in February, then demolishing Brazilian Bethe Correia in 34 seconds in the summer. It is not hard to see why she was the reason UFC owner Dana White changed his mind on women competing in this sport.

In 2016 the Olympic Games will feature women’s rugby for the first time, which is crazy. The fact that there are still events in the Olympics where women are not allowed to compete or have only just recently been allowed to compete (women’s ski jumping and weight lifting, for instance) just doesn’t seem fair, but thankfully these gender stereotypes and barriers are continually being chipped away at.

The news and statistics speak for themselves, but for us they are worth reiterating and sharing until stereotypes are a thing of the past. Judging and marginalizing people based on gender should not be a trait of the 21st century world. It’s more valuable to judge based on merit and action.

gender-stereotypes

 

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  1. Pingback: The History Lesson You Missed: It Turns Out Women Have Always Been Part Of The "Boys Club" In Gaming - GirlTalkHQ

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