10 Ways That Social Media Has Empowered Women—And May Save The World, Too
1. Most employers consider it a requirement to know how to use social media—which is basically about chattering all the time about what you’re doing with your friends.
2. People with young children can still participate in the workplace thanks to wireless Internet connectivity and social media collaboration tools that make it possible to get an accredited degree, telecommute, work before the kids go to school and late into the night.
3. Now that this technology is widely available it is becoming “normal” for everyone to balance their work and their personal lives, not just mothers, which means that the work associated with parenting and care of the home is being distributed more equally between women and men.
4. The Internet lets you comparison shop easily and social media means that no vendor is safe from criticism. Thus consumers make decisions based on a variety of factors related to trust and relationships. This is a different kind of business model that gives women, who are traditionally the “communication and relationship experts,” an advantage. (I expect that the genders will increasingly level out in terms of their relationship skills as money is increasingly made in this way.)
5. Social media is a world where physical strength is irrelevant, an advantage for most women.
6. Social media is a world where people can’t be controlled (much) by traditional chains of command. Everybody’s ideas are equal and everybody has a chance to participate in the conversation.
7. Social media-reared kids expect supervisors to interact with them frequently and to mentor them so that they are not just working but growing in terms of their earning capacity. Meaning, they expect to be parented at work—a traditionally female occupation.
8. In the world of social media, you can be slaughtered by gossip. Men, who traditionally are expected to handle physical threats rather than verbal ones, are at a disadvantage compared with women, who are more attuned to aggression that is not physical in nature.
9. We are increasingly incorporating social media collaboration tools into the workplace to facilitate collaboration, because today’s complex knowledge economy requires every employee to be fully engaged intellectually. Traditionally, women as mothers have facilitated family interactions, and this translates neatly into roles that involve online community management.
10. To meet the demands of today’s environment, organizations must function in an integrated way as well as employee employees who are coming to work on all cylinders—physically and emotionally. Everything must be holistic; every part of the machine must work together. Thus everybody must collaborate to improve products and services for the customer. We also must focus on employee engagement and health because without intellectual and emotional capital, our organizations can’t thrive.
Looking at all of this, I wonder what the future will hold, as women and men adapt to this changed world. I foresee that we will adapt to the technology by becoming more balanced people who are better able to relate to one another and to contribute to not only our organizations, but also our world…solving the most difficult and painful problems that humanity faces.
Perhaps the feminist revolution will also bring the end of poverty, illness, warfare, and all the other ills that can be fixed if we just put our heads together and try.