According to a Wall Street Journal article, women have been held back from participation in the economy. Although, a focus group that asked top executives from 60 companies why they were trying to fast track women, the majority response was that women have held the purchasing power for decades. The article by Sue Shellenbarger asks, "So why are we still talking about it?"
Some interesting things come to the top for examination:
1. Women have to be prodded to nominate themselves for promotion.
2. Women have a lack of sponsors to petition for them.
3. Most leaders assume women do not want the "tough assignments".
4. High-ranking female role models are scarce.
5. Well-intentioned execs seem to ignore women managers' opinions and contributions.
Here in the South, there is a definite glass ceiling. The thought here is that a good woman is barefoot in the winter and pregnant in the summer. However, it is not a deeply embedded thought because there are thousands of women who have cracked that ceiling.
I learned in my Social Psychology that there truly is a sharp dividing line where gender is concerned, not only generally, but also regionally. So I was not crazy in my estimation that men in the South were more inclined to keep women in lower positions (glass ceiling).
In several studies, in a group of equal numbers of gender, the women will defer to the men even though the man does not clearly exhibit leadership qualities. A woman with clear leadership qualities will defer and not take over. In a related study, it was found that men lead in a totally different way that women lead. However, there were (and I think always are) exceptions to the rule.
Let's look at this limiting-gender-thought process.It is not new or merely a few hundred years old, it dates back millennial from ancient Greece where women were never seen in public and rarely seen in the home's dining room and never in the home's living room where guests (always only men) were being entertained. After Romans conquered the world, woman's role enlarged somewhat, but still the restrictions against them owning property were adamantly enforced. But life back then held little real value. Unwanted babies were left outside the gates of Rome like so much trash. Case in point, the Romans, in fact, named their daughters numbers (Secundia...Thertia etc. sp?) because the daughters held no meaning for them. I do not believe Paul thought this way even though I originally perceived him to think that.
After a closer walk with Paul, I came to see that his first thought was not of gender but of Truth teaching. He stressed that elders needed to teach and train (mentor) the younger ones. However, he had no problem leaving a very young Timothy to teach/preach to the congregation at Ephesus. The reason was because he knew that Timothy was firmly rooted in Truth because he had taught him himself. Women were not formally taught in school, so they had lots of instruction they had to undergo before they could understand deeper truths as in the case at Corinth and Ephesus.
Today, women have superior educations, hold Master's degrees and Doctorates. There is nothing that should hold a woman back from what she desires to attain, in fact, many women do strive for that corner office or chief officer level in corporate America. Those who do not want to be there, don't compete for it. Why is it assumed that women want those top slots?
I wouldn't be in that top chair for all the money in the world. (I notice so many people complaining about the sky-high salaries of CEOs now days, but I seriously doubt many people could handle those jobs without having serious stress problems, losing their hair or going prematurely gray!) I've been in management, worked 60-hour weeks without a vacation in a 2-year stretch. I did it because my husband had no job and I was the sole bread-winner. That kind of responsibility and stress played havoc with my health. Do not get me wrong. I loved all that wheeling and dealing; and I loved the difference I was making in 17 lives for the better as I mentored and coached them to better sales results. However, I would not do it again with children still at home. There are certain things that women do so much better than men and one of those things is being Mom.
I'm thinking that we women absolutely have our position which is under our husbands like under an umbrella of protection, and our children are under us as another umbrella of protection. In an ideal world the hierarchy would be Christ=>Husband=>Wife=>Children. That is a three-tiered protection level. It is so sad that that protection is not in place for all children everywhere, isn't it?
But, we also have abilities that are God given for Him to use. I do not think it wise to question God on how He uses His tools. We are all the same and yet we are all different, like snowflakes. That is one thing that makes God so great. Ah, well... if I understood it all, I wouldn't need my Bible so much.