Wednesday 29th November 2023

What Do Women Want for Christmas


It can be a minefield choosing the right Christmas gifts for women can’t it?

What Do Women Want for Christmas?

by Alma Sheren, Greenacre Group

It can be a minefield choosing the right Christmas gifts for women can’t it? Not only are they very picky, but they can’t seem to make up their minds and are also downright bossy, not to mention being overly critical!

Wait, sorry, did I say picky? I meant to say discerning. Unable to make up their minds? What I meant was that women leaders are known for taking a balanced approach to tough or complex situations, taking into account multiple stakeholders interest before making an important decision. Bossy? Read assertive. And critical? Well, to be fair, wouldn’t you be a teensy bit critical if you’d been asking (for quite a long time) to receive a bit of equity, but all you got for Christmas was this lousy T-shirt? (sorry wrong blog).

You see, we don’t want much in our stocking this Christmas. In fact, we’ve written out a short list, so you don’t need to guess. It’s not complicated:

Equal pay – We still can’t find this in our stocking, even though we’ve written several letters to Santa about it. Statistically, in 2023 women in the EU are still paid overall 13% less than men, and on average, working women in the UK take home £574 less than men each month. That’s nearly £7K less per year.

Equity in the workplace – We’ve been searching excitedly in our stocking for representation, but it must have fallen out of Santa’s sleigh this year (again!). Currently, women account for just 28% of board members and just 5% of CEOs across the world's top major economies. Companies with female representation in high-level leadership statistically perform better overall than companies with lower overall levels of diversity. So if you think about it, this is actually a gift for everyone.

Flexible working options – Unfortunately, women are still carrying the lion’s share of familial and domestic responsibilities, whilst juggling their professional work. This means women are often left with limited working options which they have to fit around childcare and other responsibilities. Flexibility in the workplace for everyone, at all levels, means that women are more able to progress, and more able to earn higher salaries. Hurrah!

Higher valued roles – Research shows that women tend to be under-represented in managerial roles, largely because their leadership skills are undervalued. Women are also held to higher standards than men according to recent research by MIT, and consistently have to prove their abilities in ways that men don’t. Come on Santa, it’s Christmas for goodness sake!

And last but not least, we’d quite like to be able to make sense of this: According to a study by Harvard Business Review, female leaders are expected to be ‘warm and nice’, but also ‘competent and tough’, ‘demanding yet caring’, ‘authoritative yet participative’, ‘advocating for themselves yet serving others’ and last but not least, ‘maintaining distance yet being approachable’.

Well I don’t know about you, but after being all of those paradoxes I could do with a brandy! Don’t get us wrong Santa, we really, really have been good this year…ooh hang on, and bad (phew, there you go). But to be completely honest, we shouldn’t need to be asking for these things. They should be a given. So hand over the goods. And give. Or there’ll be no glass of sherry or mince pie for you! (see told you we could be bad).

 


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