It’s hard to believe that we are already talking about the close of 2018 but as we go to print with this edition, that is indeed what we are doing. In the day to day hustle and bustle of life, it is often hard to take stock of the shifts around us. Things like cultural and economic shifts are hard to gauge on a daily scale but if you take this moment in time now and compare it with the same time last year, you can start to see the shifts in a few tectonic plates.
Last year of course, the #MeToo had just engulfed our consciousness and the media with first the Harvey Weinstein scandal coming to light and then a domino effect of breaking stories of other men using their position of power for sexual gratification. While news reports of those original cases still linger (Bill Cosby has recently started his stint in prison and Weinstein is awaiting charges), #MeToo seems no longer the sensational tag to a series of sensational headlines often accompanying images of angry protesting women with placards. It seems more a testament to a shift in awareness, a chapter in the evolution of the parity of women’s voices. And not just an understanding on the female side of things. Most men are appalled at these stories. These victims and the countless victims whose stories haven’t been shared are of course the mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and friends of men also. There will no doubt be still more stories to come and I hope that we don’t lose the outrage that surrounds them currently, but the fact that the hashtag statement is not so much a sensational highlight but a ubiquitous sentiment means that hopefully we can move on from a new base and a new level of expectation of how we are treated. It also means that we can focus on other aspects of equality.
Locally, M2woman has been behind a series of Journey to Excellence events over the year and continuing that has so far seen 800 guests share in the experiences of some of New Zealand’s most accomplished women who are creating the pathways to board and governance levels in our top companies. Many of these lessons have already created actions that have created change on a corporate level and a personal level for many businesses and people.
I look forward to taking stock in a few years to come and seeing the further shift towards equality and diversity and the dwindling of #MeToo stories, not because of a lack of interest or the fears of victims speaking out but because there simply are no more new #MeToo stories to tell.