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This is the conversation companies (and parents) can’t afford to avoid

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A recent survey by seniorliving.org asked parents several questions related to their parenting practices, including which sensitive topics they don’t want to talk about with their children. Guess which topic they dreaded the most? It wasn’t gun violence, sex, drugs or discrimination. It was gender identity.

My experience with corporations suggests that parents aren’t alone in their desire to avoid the topic of gender. It’s not surprising, because perceptions of gender are changing rapidly. A few years ago, the J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group set out to see if these changing perceptions were a fad, but they discovered that gen-Z youth aged 13 to 20 see gender in significantly different ways than previous generations.

For companies and parents alike, this new reality can be, well, confusing. Gender feels like a landmine in many corporations, but today, it’s not an option to ignore it. Corporations that address gender effectively will reap tremendous benefits, both culturally and financially.

Gender is complicated, but it doesn’t need to be confusing. When I work with companies, I start by helping them establish a foundation of gender literacy. This starts........

© Fast Company