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BY Chase Adams | Contributor
It comes as no surprise to me that 66% of the entire world, men and women alike, think the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. It also doesn’t surprise me that the land of old glory thinks even more highly of women, with 73% of people answering yes to the same statement. But in a world where women are less wealthy and are found in less influential positions, why does our respect for women end at theory?
Ford invited some deep thinkers to discuss this topic at its annual Ford Forward event earlier this week. Culture is moving to be more woman-centric. People accept woman leaders moreso now than ever. The figures are growing, and millinials are continuing the trend. Ford sheepishly overlooked the near-to-home example of crosstown rival GM choosing a wonderfully talented woman, Mary Barra, to lead as CEO.
However, inequality and more specifically differing expectations still exist. Ford’s panelist Jennifer Senior, a past TED speaker, speaks to unrealistic expectations society emphasizes for women, and unobtainable expectations women adopt for themselves. She tells us a woman might feel pressured to perfectly work a job and raise perfect children. She says the unobtainability of a this idealized woman causes stress. She cites that only 10% of children wish they could spend more time with their mother, but 70% wish she was less stressed. Perhaps our mothers need more time for themselves.
It is easy to blame men, but the panelists agree that it’s more complex than that. Men may still not be fufilling the same roles as women, but gender roles are increasingly blurry. The average US father spends three times the amount of time with his children than his father did with him. Furthermore, overall workload, including professional and home, is pretty even between men and women.
At Ford the shift to a female-centric world is considered inevitable. For the first time ever, female drivers are projected to outnumber male drivers. It means that by the time most millennials have a family, cars will be designed with the wants of women first. Imagine that.
Editor’s note: Chase Adams attended the 2014 Ford Trends Conference in Michigan on behalf of Be Car Chic this week. As part of the programming, he attended a session on women in the automotive industry.
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