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Thread: International Day of the Girl-we've come a long way baby!

  1. #1
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    International Day of the Girl-we've come a long way baby!

    Yes, I'm starting a thread...eek

    Today is International Day of the Girl and CNN had a nice piece today with successful women saying what advice they would give their fifteen year old self. Fifteen is a rough age for girls, you are not sure of yourself and where you are headed. Also check out a recent article from architect (AIA) magazine that talked about why there aren't more women developers.

    There are many successful women here on cyburbia and in the planning world, although development is still a man's world, I think planning is one of the areas related to development that women have been able to gain significant acheivement over the years. So ladies, what are the gender barriers that you have faced in your career, if any? What advice would you give your fifteen-year old self?

    I'll start: As a woman it takes longer to gain the respect and trust of my colleagues than my male counter parts. Its like I have to prove I'm smart enough everytime I have a new developer or project engineer. The advice I would give my fifteen-year old self it to be confident in who you are, don't let other dissuade you from what you know is right.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Good thread!

    Confidence is key but can be so hard to achieve. I think I would tell my 15yo self that it is ok to be assertive, don't worry about being labeled a bitch for speaking your truth. I still have problems with older males not interrupting me or talking over me.

    It is also frustrating when I make a suggestion and no one listens to it then 10 minutes later a man makes the same suggestion and everyone says, "what a great idea!" I want to punch them in the throat. Maybe I would tell my 15yo self that it is ok to occasionally punch a person in the throat. :p
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    I should invite the gentlemen of cyburbia to comment as well...what is your view on women in development and why aren't there as many. Do you think women have to work harder to be respected/valued in this field?
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I think you're right about planning (and I would add architecture) being the first area of development where women have made significant inroads.
    I do think that women have to work harder in this field to be recognized for their contributions and to be respected. The best engineer I ever worked with was a young woman. She worked on a contract for the city I worked for and was wonderful. Every other member of the Development Review Committee was male. Every single one. She and I ran the DRC together for that town, and I know it's not hard for you all to imagine but she was definitely more respected than me.

    She was gone for two weeks, and when she came back I asked her if she'd been on vacation. She told me she'd been married. She didn't want to make an issue of it to the group because she was concerned it would alter the way they saw her. I told her she was being silly and that it wouldn't have. She pointed out that I was able to be funny and loose with the DRC and still be "in charge". She looked at me and said "Honestly, if I did those kinds of things, don't you think I'd lose credibility? I worry about it all the time, I'm sure you don't."

    It makes you take a hard look at things. As the father of four daughters, I know I'm conscious of the "gap" in "respect", and how it still needs to be closed. I hope that the inroads that all of you have made continue and deepen.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by beach_bum View post
    I should invite the gentlemen of cyburbia to comment as well...what is your view on women in development and why aren't there as many. Do you think women have to work harder to be respected/valued in this field?
    Off-topic:
    Somebody has to say that they're in favor of well developed women in the workplace, but I'll leave that to someone else.


    I've worked with and for many women over the course of my multiple careers and found that there was the same range of professional strengths and weaknesses as with men. The primary differences were that the women were more concerned with relationships than men and, therefore, were more likely to take umbrage at real or imagined offenses and were less willing to forgive both men and women for relationship failures. OTOH, the women were more likely to recognize co-workers or subordinates for professional excellence.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I don't think my 15-year old self would listen to future me.

    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    I still have problems with older males not interrupting me or talking over me.
    I still come across men my age or younger who exhibit those behaviors... whereas some older men really make an effort to be more respectful.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    In all my travels I have always been a part of planning departments that are a majority women. Currently my director is a woman. My last supervisor was a woman.

    I agree with Ursus on architecture being another one. Private development and construction management is going to be the last development oriented field in which women make serious inroads. I think we all know about construction guys.

    The only negative to women in the workplace is they tend to cry more than I would like. Whereas men tend to curse moer than I would like. I once had a woman co-worker who did both a lot, but I have yet to have encountered a male co-worker who cries often (somehow that makes me think of ursus).
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

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