Welcome to my blog! In a departure from my usual crime focussed stuff (although that is in here too) I want to write a post about including and supporting women across the world.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is about better balance.
For me, as a criminologist, I’ve worked in policing, which is a male dominated profession. I’ve also worked in areas that have all women, such as child protection (and my first job in a sandwich shop!). And without a doubt, the most successful teams have an equal balance of men and women. The reason for this is balanced teams seem to make better long term decisions – decisions that have short term risk, and and long term benefits. Men can be too risky short term – and women can be quite risk averse and worry too much about perception (just my experience, I would welcome other views!).
Lots of issues in the world can be improved simply by raising the status of women and creating balance across genders.
For example, the environment. If women are given education and choice, it results in lower birth rate. The world is has a very high population, and we simply cannot continue to have this many people on it. So by educating and including women in areas outside maintaining a home and having children, the birth rate would naturally drop. Women would contribute more to the decisions on their futures. And also increase the joy of life for many women subjected to no choice, and no chance for a future outside the home.
Women make money. Loads of studies have shown that the Fortune 500 companies with the highest proportion of women performed the best financially. I think what women can particularly offer is simply having the whole picture. Without women, you only get 50% of the story. When you make short and long term decisions you need as many views as possible to make a good decision that takes into account all possible impact of outcomes.
Women commit less crime (had to put this in there!). We account for usually less than 10% of crime. I won’t bother doing the usual gender analysis stuff – just pointing out we cost less as we don’t end up in prison as often.
Women are the first coders. You are super welcome internet users! Low paid and looked down upon, programming was traditionally a pink collar role. So when the first large computer was built in the US, women were the first software coders. Now we account for less than 10% of coders. This means that gender issues will be built into software, and not be made to include and support women.
We keep blokes alive. Men with wives live longer than those who don’t have one.
Plus we are fun. My close mates are women. They are beautiful, strong, kind and messy. And we deserve the opportunity to contribute to the world. After all, only letting half of people have a say, is no kind of say at all.