There’s a movement coming. You can’t find it in Cosmopolitan or the latest issue of US Weekly. You may not notice it in GQ or Esquire. But look a little closer to home—at your sister, your girlfriends, or your colleagues—and you’ll see a massive cultural shift underway: the rise of the smart, confident young professional woman.
The movement has its trailblazers—Sheryl Sandberg, Arianna Huffington, Oprah, and Diane Von Furstenberg among others. But its strength, increasingly, is coming from the masses: from thousands upon thousands of ambitious women entering the workforce and finding that, as a culture, we haven’t quite caught up.
In the past, media aimed at women hasn’t fared so well. Much-derided chick lit, chick flicks, and chick magazines have left ambitious women in a bind. Why is it that I, a young woman, can read GQ, enjoy Fight Club, and subscribe to Thrillist, while the idea of a guy doing the same with Glamour, 27 Dresses, and Daily Candy is nearly unheard of?
Don’t you think that’s odd?
I do—and I think we can do better. Starting today, we’re launching The Daily Muse, a publication for smart young professional women. And we want a lot of smart men to read it, too. And why not? Nearly 60% of men negotiate their first salary out of college—while only 7% of women do—but that doesn’t mean sharp negotiation advice will go to waste on Y chromosomes.
There’s a further angle here as well. Men who read our last publication, a similarly-themed “smart content for smart women” resource, often commented that the articles raised issues they’d never considered before: that asking for a raise can be perceived differently based on the gender of the asker; that mentorship relationships are more difficult when nearly all the potential mentors are older men; that assertive women are often labeled a “b--ch” while similarly aggressive men escape notice. “I never even realized that was an issue,” they’d write. And I would smile.
The world is changing, and the women’s movement is changing with it. As a culture, we’ve left behind the antagonistic, us-versus-them mentality of the 70s and 80s, but we’ve found the modern refrain that “men and women should be indistinct in the workplace” rings hollow, too. Call it nature or nuture, there are differences in how men and women approach professional conduct, and facing these issues head-on will make us all more equipped to succeed.
That’s why we talk about Working with a Boss of a Different Gender or How to Avoid Crying in the Workplace. As a culture, we are still trying to create and define the practical version of our mothers’ feminism, turning their chorus of “Yes We Can” into tangible increases in women holding leadership positions and the realization that success is no longer a zero sum game.
So—welcome to a newly flexible feminism. Welcome to a movement and a space that will define what it means to be a young, intelligent woman in the 21st century. Welcome to the movement. And welcome to The Daily Muse.
This article was originally published on The Huffington Post.
Kathryn Minshew is the CEO & Founder of The Muse and loves helping people find careers they actually enjoy. She has spoken at MIT and Harvard, appeared on The TODAY Show and CNN, and contributes on career and entrepreneurship topics to the Wall Street Journal and Harvard Business Review. Before founding The Muse, Kathryn worked on vaccine introduction in Rwanda and Malawi with the Clinton Health Access Initiative and was previously at the management consultancy McKinsey & Company.More from this Author