Getting to Yes, And

The Fix

Guest

Michelle King

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Kelly connects with Michelle King, Netflix's Director of Inclusion about her new book, The Fix: Overcome the Invisible Barriers that are Holding Women Back at Work.

You actually trace the history of why women became less valued than men and it basically starts with farming.

“I was just interested in who came up with this crazy idea that men are more valued than women or that masculinity is somehow more valuable than femininity? Like where did that come from? And so I looked back into history and did a bit of research, really trying to understand some of the roots of this. There's a lot of different theories on how it came about, but fundamentally where we saw this play out from a work perspective is how we valued the contributions of men and women differently. Right? And so that's really where it started. Men were able to farm and go out and hunt and create wealth, from a monetary perspective in terms of selling the projects they created. And over time, a woman's staying at home was seen as being less valuable.”

And while the problem is bad for women, it’s even worse for women of color.

“I have a whole chapter in the book on privilege, on my white privilege and how that works. And the interesting thing about denial, it's really fascinating and this has been a problem when it comes to racism for years: people either saying, ‘I don't see color’ or people sort of dismissing the different lived experiences of inequality. And you know, just because you don't experience something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. It's actually real privilege that ensures that you never have to experience it. I always say the greatest privilege we have is to remove inequality. I think the job with all of us is to disrupt your denial and that starts with really understanding how people's lived experiences are different.”

And interestingly, these biases and stereotypes end up hurting men as well.

“Men are not given the luxury of developing identities outside of work. One of my favorite statistics is that when men even try to do that they face a 26% reduction in pay compared to women who face a 23% reduction. And more importantly, they are not seen as promotable and it really negatively impacts long term career advancement because they're not living up to the issued ideal of what good looks like in the workplaces, right? They deviate from what is the masculine ideal.”

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