I am thrilled! Not only is my new book, "Rethink: Smashing The Myths of Women in Business," published and now out in the world, it's selling like gangbusters. In just one month, it's 9th on Amazon's list of Kindle e-books on women in business. But it's not just the sales that gets me excited, it's the fact that more and more women, and hopefully men, are reading about the 11 trailblazing women whose stories I share, including my own. My hope is that they get inspiration from these courageous, determined women who refused to be held back from becoming who they wanted to be and achieving what they knew they could. They smashed glass ceilings and leapt over barriers, and so can you!
Ready to RETHINK your own journey?
To give you a taste of some of the things I talk about in the book, I provide below a synopsized excerpt that focuses on gender bias and how difficult it is to achieve gender equity, long ago and even today. I'd also like to invite you to join our Rethink Facebook group, and think about participating in our new program called Rethink Your Journey with Andi Simon, coming soon. Created by women, for women, it's designed to help you Rethink your life and make sure you're on a path that brings you joy. Learn more about all of these at www.andisimon.com.
In all societies when it comes to the place of women, mythologies and cultural norms have put them in the home as mother, housekeeper and child rearer
Men, on the other hand, went to hunt the game, farm the fields, fight the wars and trade the goods. This mythology was consistently adhered to, allowing for gender roles to be passed from one generation to the next. For the most part, the norms were followed and everyone knew their place.
Then in the mid-1990s, evolutionary psychologists began to look at gender through a Darwinian lens. Gender differences, they argued, have evolved through sexual selection to the point that they have become embedded in our genes. Men spread their genes by impregnating as many women as they can, while women are bound by their role of giving birth to those offspring and raising them. These well-defined roles explain how this thinking has led to our present cultural values and has greatly impacted human evolution.
Research on how girls and boys play tends to support these evolutionary arguments
Vivian Paley, in her seminal 1984 book, "Boys and Girls: Superheroes in the Doll Corner," describes how she conducted social experiments with young boys and girls to better understand the psychology of gender. She writes about how storytelling and fantasy have an amazing impact on children’s academic and social development as they make sense of their worlds, adapt to their classrooms, learn how to communicate with peers and the opposite sex, and get things done together. In her research, she tried hard to get the girls to play with the blocks and not simply gravitate to the kitchen. She also tried to get the boys to use the girls’ area to learn how to be nurturing. Unfortunately, it never worked. She concluded that boys and girls are hardwired to be who they are — strong, tough guys and sweet, adoring girls.
The troubling aspecy of Paley's research, that girls will be girls and boys will be boys, made me start to worry that change was impossible. If women have become who they are because their cultures have defined what they can and can't do, can they ever break out of this preordained destiny? In other words, to paraphrase the title of my book, can women smash the old, outdated cultural myths and become who they really want to be?
Happily, the answer is yes. The 11 women in my book and millions of women leaders all over the world are doing just that.
From Observation to Innovation,
Andi Simon, Ph.D.
Corporate Anthropologist | Author | CEO Simon Associates Management Consultants