Do we really need women role models?

I have never bought in to the radical feminism that is all around us. However, today, for the first time, I realised something: we do actually specifically need women role models – for a particular reason.


The way we learn seems to come from our ability to mimic. From Aristotle to Kurt Vonnegut, to the modern self-help industry, they all agree that we learn by modelling people. I think that toddlers learn to walk at least in part because they want to be like everyone else abound them. So it doesn’t matter to them how many times they fell on their a*s. Same thing with language. Monkey see – monkey do. That’s what learning is about. That’s why doctors in training shadow more experienced doctors. However, as is the case with toddlers, we learn just by being close to something – without necessarily having chosen to do so. It’s like walking into a room full of people who are laughing at something – it is hard to stop yourself from smiling, even though you have no reason to laugh and feel really awkward now! That’s why we become the average of the five people around us.

The clincher is in the fact that it is much easier to learn from someone who you can relate to more easily. When I heard Arianna Huffington speak about her career, it just made so much more sense to me than when I heard countless other men. It’s not that I didn’t learning anything from men – far from it. However, seeing women in business is life-affirming and whatever it is that my brain saw in this woman that I am not even aware of – I feel that it really made a difference. It added certainty. It’s not that I don’t get inspired by male role models, but there was this added “if she can do it – I can do it too.”

11 thoughts on “Do we really need women role models?”

      1. You don’t have this problem if you don’t brand people’s success to their gender. Those two are just very shitty people regardless if they are male or female. Engineers do not have genders, they share a common language of Engineering.

        When people start doing dumb shit like Women in Engineering or Girls who Code it makes you wonder what “Women” or “Girls” did before they ventured into these dark arts. It implies that they are dumb. How about just Engineers and Coders?

        Merit not gender wins the day, all day everyday.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha. In a way, yes. Having a role-model is probably the easiest way to learn. The more you have in common with that role model, the more you can related to them (other things kept equal – to address your previous point)


      3. Check LinkedIn for the msg. Replied to you regarding my definition of Friends. Get out more and stop reading books with Hot Coco by the fireside!

        Didn’t you want to become a runner and have more real face-to-face social interactions?

        Now, about the Game of Life… That has to be calculated without the emotional piece.

        According to King Solomon, life is all worthless including emotions. Leave that at the door Bud, you are working for me now, Mr.Gekko.


  1. Strong logic in this. Outside business, we improve our chess skills by playing someone who’s better than we are; we improve our writing skills by reading those writers we most want to read (and therefore, emulate).

    Education most certainly plays an important role in our lives, but, when I look back at my favored subjects, they became such, not because it’s necessarily what I aspired to do, but more because of the professors I learned the best from.

    Conversely, how often do we learn from those we choose to avoid 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what they say about the most successful people: that they are able to learn from everything and everyone, suspending the ego-barrier and not avoiding things. Tough skill. A proponent of meditations (and gazzillionaire) Ray Dalio speaks of this a lot


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