It’s not just a pay gap, but chore gap too!

The Atlantic recently published an article about the gender gap in unpaid labour and its global economic impact.

All too often the gender gap for unpaid labour is glossed over. It’s just something women are expected to do. Cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking, taking care of children and/or their parents, volunteering at the school and the list goes on and on.  It’s women’s work.

Yet, the impact of this disproportionate gendered expectation is impacting the lives of women. Whether it’s affecting their career paths, their work-life balance, ability to take maternity leave and/or their ability to contribute economically.

The unpaid labour expectations differ greatly depending on where in the world women live. However, the issue is an important one.

We encourage everyone to read Olga Khazan’s article featuring Melinda Gates “The Scourage of the Female Chore Burden”. To read the article, click here.

 

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Don’t Worry You’re Not An Impostor. You’re just Great!

We hear a lot from women about how they feel like they’re impostors. That they feel that someone will find out they are not real. But that’s not true.

In the late 1970s, psychologists coined the term “impostor syndrome” to refer to the inability of successful high achievers to acknowledge and internalize their accomplishments. These same people believe and live in constant fear of the discovery that they are a fraud. While impostor syndrome is gender neutral, it undermines people of all genders.  However, women are more likely to suffer from it.

That’s why we’re pleased to stumble across a Quartz.com article on the topic.  It’s a great article outlining what is impostor syndrome. The article points out that people who suffer from this syndrome are more likely doing a great job.

The article also notes that women are less likely to talk about their accomplishments in comparison to men. To that we say, “toot your own horn!”

It’s about time we end the myth and  long-held belief that “nice women” don’t toot their own horn. Men have and do talk about their accomplishments with great regularity, and they’re rarely, if ever, socially or professionally penalized for this.

The fact is tooting your own horn isn’t bragging or humble bragging, it’s just stating the truth and celebrating your achievements.

This week go out and admit to your awesomeness! If you don’t, no one else will.  Start putting a dent into impostor syndrome effect. Also, we encourage you to read the Quartz.com article “Is imposter syndrome a sign of greatness?” by clicking here.

 

 

 

Time to Talk About Mental Health in the Legal Profession

Today, you may notice that your social media feeds are filled with messages about mental health and ending the stigma of mental illness. It’s Bell Canada Let’s Talk Day. Why care?

While people may discriminate, mental illness does not. Mental illness cuts across professions, ages, cultures, classes and the list goes on and on. 1 in 5 Canadians will struggle with mental illness. That’s about 4.5 million Canadians and half of those are adults. Check out the statistics on mental health in Canada here.

According to a LawPro Magazine article on mental health, ” In 2011 , mental illness cost Canadian business six billion dollars in lost productivity and absenteeism.” This doesn’t apply to other professions. It includes the legal profession.

Most often the focus is on the clients’ mental health issues. There is a tendency to avoid looking at, talking about and listening to law school students and legal practitioners when it comes to mental health issues.

The stigma surrounding mental illness stops lawyers and law school students from seeking support. The fear that no one will hire them or they will be disbarred if it’s discovered paralyzes many and keeps them from getting help. They suffer in silence.

Many lawyers will leave the profession and many students will leave their law school program. It’s time to talk, and end the stigma surrounding mental illness within the legal profession.

Thankfully the legal profession is waking up. The Fall 2015 issue of the Nova Scotia Bar Association was dedicated mental health. Our own Megan Seto, WLMP Vice Chair and lawyer, was featured in the magazine. She offers great insights on page 11 of this issue. You can also read Ms. Seto’s paper on mental health and the legal profession by clicking here.

Still wondering why you should care about mental health and take part in Bell’s Let’s Talk initiative to raise awareness and money by Tweeting using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag, or sharing their message give a listen to what Clara Hughes has to say.

SNL, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler & Amy Schumer Showcase the Feminist Ethos Behind the “Squad”

The terms “Squad” and “Squad Goals” are everywhere lately. The terms appear alongside Facebook, Instagram and Tumbler posts and occasionally on Twitter for the older “squad” hashtag set. It’s one of those words people are using and everyone knows what it means, but also doesn’t.

Squad relates to a group of female friends that hangout with you and who have your back no matter what. Squad and squad goals are feminist, but doesn’t mean squads are women only groups. A feminist squad at its core is equitable. It includes all genders, ethnicities, classes and professions. Life can get complicated. Without your squad where would you be? 

Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood video, featured below,  took the squad concept to a new level.

How SNL, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler along with Amy Schumer Show What’s a Real Squad in “Dope Squad” (Spoliers below)

In response to the question “how do you juggle it all?”, Fey and Poehler challenge the concept of Squad and Squad goals as a silly empty group of gal pals. They show their nannies,  the server at a restaurant, mammogram technicians, a man who returned a lost wallet, their shared gynecologist and the list goes on and then sends up the images of Hollywood Squads.

Women at the top of their profession often detail how they created their own bespoke support network, or feminist “squad”. That’s the point. You don’t need to do it all. You just need a squad with feminist squad goals to help you reach your full potential.

If you didn’t think your squad and your squad goals were feminist, then take a good look at your squad. We think you’ll find — you’ve got feminist squad goals.

Thanks SNL, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Amy Schumer for showcasing feminist ethos of the squad!