Cindy Jutras and the exquisite art of solving for gender inequality

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy July 5, 2015
Much is written about gender inequality yet little is said about reality. I check in with Cindy Jutras on this thorny topic

One of the toughest sections I studied at university centered on gender inequality. At the time I was in a relationship with a hardcore feminist so what could possibly go wrong? Plenty as it turns out. Fast forward 22 years and I am still in the same relationship but now with the added frissance of thinking about what gender inequality means in technology environments. Why? a bunch of clients believe it is an important topic but each has unique problems attached to solving in what is a 'man's world.'

So when I discovered I had the opportunity to listen to Cindy Jutras talking about the Plex women's breakfast I had one thought in mind: blow it - I'll learn something.

Our video shoot was one of the toughest I'ver ever done. Why? I was concerned to match Cindy's sincerity with erudite questions. I'm not sure I got there and throughout the shoot I was nervous to a degree I have not known in many years. All the same, Cindy was a gracious guest and provides the perfect balance between optimism and reality, To that extent the video succeeds.

As an aside, I asked several of my women friends to critique the shoot - they all agree that Cindy got it pretty much right.

Plex deserves a great deal of credit for setting up what was a sold out event with a long waiting list. Who would ever have thought that women in manufacturing are taking a lead in this topic? Yet that is exactly what Cindy discusses. From my POV - I met with several very powerful women who all made strong cases for their topic areas without needing to bang the feminist drum. I was both impressed and humbled.

As an older white male I see what Cindy discusses as both refreshing and disturbing. I am not sure for instance whether I have the understanding to simply listen to a woman without mentally criticizing what she might have to say in advance of understanding her POV - a learning lesson for me.

Regardless - here's the shoot - you decide...and thanks Cindy for being a stand up example of femininity in the workplace.

Disclosure: this video was shot at PowerPlex 2015. Plex covered most of my T&E for the event and provided video production facilities.

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