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Why Gender Matters

We’re all affected, in different ways and to different degrees, by how cultures and communities construct gender.

We ascribe to narrow ideas about gender in ways both small and large — often without realizing it — and that gets in the way of our ability to show up as our full, authentic selves.

The challenges we as a world face today require new ideas and approaches, and that’s possible only when everyone brings their unique perspective, skills, creativity and experience to the table, free of any gender-based constraints.

A global reimagining of gender is underway. Today, the majority of millennials and Gen Z see gender as a spectrum, rather than a binary; something that would have been hard to imagine a decade ago.

These changing understandings are not only here to stay, they continue to expand rapidly. New language is created regularly. Expectations in our relationships, families, workplaces and other cornerstones of our lives are changing. While this can sometimes feel uncomfortable or confusing, the good news is that these changes are also empowering and liberating — not just for some, but for everyone. Including you.

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Today, addressing new perceptions and realities around gender isn’t simply about creating inclusive policies, changing internal information systems, or including pronouns in email signatures. It’s about understanding how gender is approached across the entire company — from market research to customer experience to the products you sell. Organizations that respond to this change may start to recognize the much bigger business opportunity in front of them: a chance to create products and experiences for a growing body of consumers and employees that no longer buy into traditional conceptions of gender and the stereotypical, binary classifications attached to it.”

Lisa Kenney
Harvard Business Review