So this conversation actually happened on International Women’s Day:
A young, well intended boy to my 10-year-old daughter: “We are starting a soccer team. Do you want to be the cheerleader?”
My daughter: “No, I’d rather be on the team.”
Another boy: “I’ll be the cheerleader.”
There are so many things I love about this I don’t know where to start. But the core of it is getting away from gender stereotypes. Anyone should be on the team and anyone should be the cheerleader.
Part of that is getting away from “male” and “female” stereotypes at work and in culture. A male culture shouldn’t be an always-on work style at all costs. And a female culture shouldn’t be a Mommy track where people question your commitment.
The fact is that a lot of women leave work for other jobs, not to opt out. The fact is that a lot of women who leave work to raise children often want more flexibility, not to leave entirely. And quite obviously, the fact is that men love their families and their lives, too.
So as part of International Women’s Day, I suggest next year that we do NOT go on strike. That you decide to go work somewhere that doesn’t have a male or female style. Or you use your influence to make the place you work better.
I personally LOVE going to work every day and I LOVE coming home at night. That’s something worth fighting for.
Originally published at medium.com