We interviewed 5 women and 1 man to clear up these 4 misunderstandings about women

-Do you have any difficulties now?

-I think I only know myself, I don't know other women, I don't understand their experiences, and I can't imagine the problems they will encounter, so I can't think of how to get in.

This is a conversation I had with my colleagues when I was asked to write a feature article on women.

"Women" is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics of discussion in recent years. But somehow, some discussions that started with good intentions can become a medium for deepening gender antagonism and stereotypes. How can we build a more friendly environment for women and for women's topic discussions?

With this confusion, I chatted with a few people who have broadened the "should or not" of women's issues, hoping that their experiences and stories can bring some inspiration to everyone.

Apple China's Ge Yue: Female employees can be mothers with peace of mind

Ge Yue is the managing director of Apple's Greater China region, an excellent engineer, and the mother of four children. You know, the average proportion of female management in Silicon Valley technology companies is only 11%, and even fewer mothers, let alone mothers of four children.

When asked what advice he had for young women, Ge Yue gave an answer that was contrary to the current trend of suggesting young professional women not to be mothers easily. She shared with us her own struggles:

If I had a chance to talk to myself 20 years ago, I would tell her not to be so anxious and to be a mother happily, you will find that your energy is far greater than you thought.

You might say that not everyone is so lucky to have enough resources and opportunities to get good development on their own.

indeed so.

But today, Ge Yue has not forgotten the anxiety he once had. Instead, he has integrated this empathy into his work and shaped Apple into a more female-friendly working environment.

"[email protected]" is one of these initiatives.

Officially established in the Greater China region in 2019, "[email protected]" is one of Apple's internal diversified organizations.

Ge Yue herself is the "resident guest" of "[email protected]"'s "Coffee Chat" event. In this way, she will communicate more informally with female employees.

During the epidemic, "[email protected]" also organized psychological counseling and sharing for female employees to help them cope with the challenges and pressures faced by working at home.

When talking about "maternity leave discrimination" in many companies, Ge Yue disapprovingly said, "It is a long-term investment for us to hire someone." From this perspective, whether it is a mother or taking maternity leave is not a negative thing.

Apple recently even launched the "Novice Mother Program" internally. It is said that it is because they "found that many women are a little helpless when they first become mothers, so they want to help them through this program."

▲ Last year’s school day, Ge Yue shared photos of herself and her child on Weibo

At present, the proportion of female leaders within Apple has reached 40%, which is much higher than the average of technology companies.

However, not all companies, like Apple, never ask about birth plans during interviews, and do not record age and gender in their files. When young Chinese women are interviewing for a job, most of them still have to awkwardly answer HR's outdated question:

do you have a boyfriend?

The "2021 LinkedIn Opportunity Confidence Index Report" pointed out that 60% of Chinese women believe that their gender hinders career development. This data is even more prominent among working mothers, as high as 64%.

Perhaps, what we need to advocate is not that young women try not to be mothers, but that more companies treat employees as "long-term investments," regardless of their gender.

Super Gorilla Jump: The best way to exercise is to enjoy it

Super Gorilla is one of the most popular fitness brands at the moment. It replaces the card application model by scheduling classes at any time and paying for a single session. What's rare is that there is no annual card pressure of "you will lose money if you don't go," and young users are even more "addicted" to the lessons of super apes.

Therefore, we learned from its founder and wanted to know how we can help young people better establish long-term exercise habits. Unexpectedly, she actually said:

If a person has not established exercise habits throughout his life, this will not affect whether he will have a great life. If you feel that not exercising means not being self-disciplined, then you have put a lot of pressure on yourself.

Whether it is sports, work or motherhood, the best way is to enjoy it.

In an environment where fitness has become a trend and everyone is calling for self-discipline, it is like a passing breeze that allows people to loosen their tight abdomen in a second, and torture themselves if they really like this exercise?

The view of Tiao Tiao is also related to her previous experience.

In 2013, Tiao Tiao witnessed the "Boston Marathon bombing." At that time, while she was running, she suddenly saw an explosion occurred 500 meters in front of her, and the communication was interrupted instantly:

At that time I was asking myself a question, if I accidentally ran fast today, what would I regret before dying?

▲ The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing killed three people and injured more than one hundred people. Pictured from The Wall Street Journal

Coincidentally, on the flight to the United States, I jumped around and read in Hillary's autobiography, "There is only one true life. Live your life the way you want."

So when the communication was restored, Tiao Tiao sent a resignation text message to the boss and decided to "live life from the end".

Since the creation of Super Orangutan, the amount of jumping exercise is far less than before. That's because before, running a marathon was a way for her to relieve anxiety, that is to say, her mental state is much better than before.

However, she said that she would be an "ostrich" from time to time. When discovering that there is a problem with my state, I will avoid all external interference, communicate and reconcile myself, and sometimes even choose my favorite hotel and sleep for three days and two nights (up).

However, not all women dare to do this.

A McKinsey report stated that women take on 75% of the world's unpaid domestic work. The LinkedIn report also stated that women’s needs for both family and work are much higher than men’s. This is more from the pressure of social habits. But Tiao Tiao wants to remind all women:

Always tell yourself that you have a choice.

In her view, this choice is an active choice after knowing the possible cost. She believes that if she endures the past today, her already bad state will only get worse tomorrow.

This simple truth has already been written on the safety instructions of the aircraft:

Please take care of yourself before helping others.

Coding Girls: Why is the ancient issue of girl programming still a problem now?

Established in 2019, Coding Girls is a women's programming community dedicated to helping women of all ages get started programming and promoting gender equality in the technology industry. This year, Yu Tielin, who is in the third year of high school, Zhang Ziyi, who is in his senior year, and Jiang Manjie, who is already working in a technology company, are the three principals of this organization.

Indeed, it’s 2021, and a similar foreign organization, Girls Who Code, has been established for almost ten years. You thought that the old stereotype of "girls are not suitable for learning programming" has long been wiped out, but Yu Tielin told us:

I am the only girl in the school computer class.

This is also the reason why we chose to interview these girls, in order to understand the reasons behind this seemingly shouldn't exist.

Yu Tielin started to get involved with programming in the eighth grade, and that was the first time she "personally felt the gender differences in technology." Curious, she began to ask the girls with good math grades, why people are not interested in computers. Unexpectedly, these girls still have a solid impression that "girls are not suitable for studying science."

▲ Yu Tielin found that even girls with good math scores would think "girls are not suitable for science"

The ways in which stereotypes deepen girls’ fear of science is quite comprehensive.

When your scores in science are not good, others will say "girls are weak in science and better in liberal arts." If your science is already strong, there are still people who can think, "You have good grades now, and you won't be able to keep up in a few years. It’s a magic word.

Zhang Ziyi, who is addicted to AR, majored in business English at University, and most of his classmates are girls. When she was very excited to introduce AR to her classmates, everyone did not quite understand:

They will feel that "Such a profound thing does not belong to us, you just have to be happy."

▲ Zhang Ziyi, who is particularly interested in AR, is also an intern director of variety shows

During 2019-2020, Coding Girls held programming summer camps in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and also organized online education support activities for Xinjiang. In this process, Yu Tielin found that many younger girls are often the most active:

On the contrary, it is the older students, some of the girls who have already participated in the work. When they are studying, they always feel that there is something wrong with the code they wrote, or they always want you to go over and help her take a look.

This also means that even if they have already taken the first step of learning bravely, many women may still be subconsciously affected by the impression that "girls are not suitable for programming".

When Jiang Manjie is teaching, she will try her best to answer the questions of the students as patiently as possible:

You may get stuck in some very small places. At this time, you really have to be by her side and tell her what each line means and why you write it like this.

I hope that at the beginning, Coding Girls gave them the feeling that we can learn together, and this thing is actually not that difficult.

▲ Jiang Manjie's previous major was biotechnology, and later he was interested in self-taught programming and now works in a technology company

At the same time, they are also popularizing the basic understanding of programming in a wider group.

They have met many students from different backgrounds. Among them are those born in the 80s who are already a mother. She believes that learning programming is the trend of the times, so she started to learn first so that she can discuss more related topics with her children in the future; there are also 16-year-old high school students who are officially applying for computer science Before, I want to learn through experience programming as a career exploration; there is also a 13-year-old little sister who wants to change the world through learning programming.

In addition, Zhang Ziyi also met a classmate from her university at the event. She feels very happy to let people who are not interested in technology take the first step.

This is the reason why Coding Girls still deserve our attention in China in 2021. They are breaking this stereotype through actions and small but practical changes.

Imagine that in the future, if programming becomes a basic and ubiquitous interactive interface like graphics interaction today, people who are now blocked from learning programming due to stereotypes may be the same as the elderly at home who don’t understand smart phones. I feel that I just can't learn these techniques, and fall into helplessness and self-blame.

Designer Yang Zhenfu: It’s actually not that difficult for men to participate in women’s issues

Inspired by his wife as a medical staff, designer Yang Zhenfu decided to use design to improve the government-funded breast cancer screening service to make women more willing to accept this important examination.

They made the cold screening car and inspection experience as pleasant and relaxing as afternoon tea, and named the project "afternoon milk inspection."

▲Presentation event in Shanghai before "Milk Observation in the Afternoon"

This is not only a female issue, but also an issue related to the female body.

I couldn't help asking Yang Zhenfu whether his own male identity would cause difficulties for participating in this project.

There will indeed be, but we can understand through preliminary investigations and slowly build up empathy.

Moreover, there are female designers in the team, and you also have mothers, wives and children. You can also see sick patients and hear what they say. These will let you know the different people on this issue and their actual situation. Feel.

He believes that when doing commercial projects, designers may not have a special understanding of all fields, but they can all learn through research-this is a necessary process of design.

I don’t know if you are like me. I don’t understand why women resist free breast cancer screening. This sounds good service.

In fact, last year, the number of new cases of breast cancer reached 2.26 million, surpassing lung cancer for the first time, becoming "the world's largest cancer . " Among them, when breast cancer patients in my country are diagnosed, the proportion of early patients is much lower than that in European and American countries, which also reflects the lack of awareness of people's screening for this disease.

Yang Zhenfu told me that many people have a mentality of "It's okay if you don't check it, but it will happen as soon as you check it." In addition, there is very little public discussion about female breasts in our culture, so whenever it is mentioned, there is always a kind of embarrassment that is hard to tell.

In terms of experience, women have to fill out a lot of registration forms when participating in screening; moreover, there is no room for screening to give people a sense of privacy and peace of mind.

As a result, they redesigned the entire experience, optimized the process and space, and even prepared real milk tea outside the screening car to make women feel more relaxed and at ease. In addition, "Afternoon Milk Investigation" also prepared invitation letters for women who participated to fill in and share with other female friends.

After the transformation, people's willingness to accept breast cancer screening has increased by 2-3%.

Because of the opportunity of this project, Yang Zhenfu launched the 5% Design Action social design platform to encourage designers and professionals in various fields to devote 5% of their spare time to projects that improve public services. In addition to breast cancer screening, they also extended their experience to the promotion of other cancer screening programs.

Every issue, including women’s issues, is multidimensional and complex, and they all require the support and participation of people from different fields and backgrounds.

In fact, there are also many "Yang Zhenfu" in our previous character stories-they are the men who signed up for "[email protected]". They also want to support and help women, but they don't know how to start; they are also in Coding Girls. The male volunteers who appeared in the event also wanted to help more women learn and get started programming.

Sometimes, it is not gender that separates people, but the willingness to communicate.

To make time for health is to make time for yourself

Jumping tells us that although she does not have as much exercise time as before, she still insists on deep breathing and meditation every day, "spend two minutes to pay attention to herself." As for the women and men involved in women’s issues in this interview, the achievements they have achieved and the changes they have promoted, in fact, all started with the pursuit in their hearts.

We are all "me" first, and then the different identities that we bring to life.

On the occasion of this year’s International Women’s Day, in addition to sharing the stories of outstanding women (and "friends of women") from all fields with all readers, we also want to invite everyone to join us in the "Give Two-week health challenge of taking some time for health.

We believe that to make time for health is to make time for ourselves. It allows us to free up time in the stressful work and life to pay attention to our physical and mental state.

We believe that we all have the potential to be everything we want to be. Taking time to talk to ourselves and paying attention to our own state is the beginning of getting better.

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