women inequality, gender inequality, sexism, wage inequality

Sparking a gender debate – Let’s go there!

Recently I was interviewed for The Cairns Weekend Post to promote my new book – Chicks and Mortar – A woman’s guide to investing in property. The headline read “Investor Guide Sparks Gender Debate”.

Now, I wasn’t expecting the story to go that way and honestly, I was a little put off at first. I don’t want to get into an argument with anyone about who is the better sex…my book is simply a guide to show women in particular how to invest in property.

But you know what, if my book does sparks a gender debate, then good…let’s go there.

In the article, a mortgage broker comments that “the challenges women have are the same ones as men: having confidence, doing research and getting independent advice

Yes, that’s true all these challenges are the same with both sexes, as are a lot of other challenges similar to these and if we are going to go down that path, it can very easily be broken down further beyond gender and talk about individuals. We’re all traveling our own journey right? We all have our own unique challenges.

But lets not talk about the challenges that are the same, let’s instead talk about the challenges that are clearly not the same:

Let’s talk about wage inequality. Perfect timing to be talking about this. For anyone who watch the 2015 Oscars and heard Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speak, you will be aware that wage inequality is still a major issue…worldwide across all industries.

Let’s talk about sexism. Now this topic could make for a heated debate. But its a topic that simply has to be addressed. The property, building and construction industry is STILL a male dominated industry. Even though the industry has made some big steps to stamp out sexism and gender inequality within the industry, there is still a long long way to go. Women are still the target of wolf whistles and women are still are subjected to jeers, inappropriate comments and sexual innuendos within the industry.

Let’s talk about the family / work juggle. Again another area that has come a long way but still needs to be addressed. We ALL struggle with the work life balance, but the reality is, women are the ones who have to weigh up the costs to their careers (and financial security) to have children. Women are still more likely to be the stay at home parent and are more likely to be working in part time and casual positions due to family constraints. This definitely adds extra challenges for women when entering the property market.

So if my book sparks a gender debate, then great…lets get the conversation going. These issues need to be talked about, but more importantly we need to go beyond talking, {because we can probably all agree, there has been a hell of a lot of talking around this subject.} There needs to be talking and then there needs to be change…..by all of us.

Clearly men rolling their eyes when ever the gender debate comes up and women stamping their feet and shouting ‘not fair’ has not gotten us very far to date. If we want the gender debate resolved once and for all, then both genders need to come together and create a collective change.

I love to hear your thoughts around what all of us can do to create gender equality particularly within the property and building industry. Share your comments below or join the conversation over on Facebook.

Until next time…

Katie Marshall - Chicks and Mortar

Chicks and Mortar – Women in Property

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