Genderability

by Amy-Willard Cross

Genderability is a word the English language needs right now. As a society, we are lurching toward equality—in one big social movement. In recent years, the culture has focused on marriage equality. Now it’s gender equality.

People are talking about it with hashtags #ChangeTheRatio, #AddWomen, #BlackGirlsToo, #AddFeminism, they’re fighting for it in the workplace in schools, in businesses. That means more Bechdel-worthy movies, getting more women in tech and keeping them there and increasing African American-women’s pay by 36 cents, electing more women in Congress and more women on boards.

We’re asking our educational, governmental sports institutions and businesses to treat all genders equally.

The pursuit or study of this gender equality, I’m calling Genderability. I think it’s where sustainability was 20 years ago. More and more people are going to seek and demand gender equality in all their institutions, businesses and schools. As Maria Redin of Good said, "People are the new green."

Every noun could use an accessory, so I give you the adjective genderable. To use it in a sentence, “L’Oreal is a genderable company". So is Procter and Gamble and GM and Bank of America. Women’s colleges are also supremely genderable. Obvs.

The market is rewarding Genderability; companies who have treated the concept seriously and have a good proportion of female leadership find themselves in gender-lens investment portfolios like Women at the Top, or Parity Portfolio. The triple bottom line concept is a good one: profit, planet, people. But when we talk about people, we have to make sure women are half --and that they get their share.

Just as sustainability has permeated our cultural consciousness in legislation and the way we produce and sell goods, I hope that genderability also takes hold.

So please ask for it—wherever you can.