asks Nick O’Shiel, Omagh Enterprise.
The economy is changing and present within the change is even greater change for women.
The economic change has happened over decades but is now at a tipping point.
Women outperform men in university entry and in entry to a variety of professions and careers.
Similarly, the portrayal of women as entrepreneurs, as politicians, as role models and in the media has changed, as women enjoy greater success.
Women have made significant progress in the past but this time it is different, as the drivers represent fundamental, structural and irreversible shifts in jobs, in the economy, and within society.
The recession has caused the loss of jobs, as technology and the Internet influence the nature of work and the effectiveness of traditional business models. But men have been more adversely affected than women.
The changes have caused many traditional middle-level jobs to disappear and in their place are greater numbers of high-level, well-paid jobs and low-level, poorly-paid jobs.
One of the interesting things about the changes is that men and women react differently; men find it more difficult to adjust while women more easily move into both higher and lower-paid jobs.
The new economy demands a new type and range of skills and women, more than men, are ready to adapt, willing to change and able to succeed.
The old manufacturing economy valued physical strength and task repetition grounded in stable environments; the new economy values mental strength and task flexibility grounded in unstable environments.
Management too has shifted from old male dominated ‘command and control’ fixed and inflexible structures; to new female orientated ‘share and engage’ more fluid and flexible structures.
Women will continue to go to college in greater numbers, play a more influential role at all levels in society, and succeed in greater numbers than men.
Men will continue to find the new environment difficult, play a less influential role in many traditionally male dominated areas, and struggle to compete with women.
The level of change will increase and the pace of change will quicken, as women and men make sense of what it means for them separately and together.
SO, it has taken a long time to reach this point but women are starting to take charge and will continue to do so.