By Richard Gerver, author, teacher and speaker.
I smiled when I was asked. “What if Steve Jobs had been a woman?” You see I have been a man working in a ‘woman’s world’ for most of my adult life. For over twenty years, I worked as an elementary school teacher. From the time I chose that path and went to University to study for my degree I was looked at funny!
At best, people would question my sexuality, at worst my motives; why would a man want to teach little children? That’s a woman’s job; he must be a weirdo.
It didn’t really bother me because I was passionate about teaching and about working with younger kids. I have also always been one of those people who loves challenging convention. It also was a gratifying job because the children loved having a male role model in a world, which to that point, had been largely dominated by the women in their lives.
«Generation Z don’t see boundaries that can’t be overcome or walls that can’t be scaled»
Truth is we have never lived in a more open or connected world where new technologies have made almost anything possible for almost anybody; generation Z don’t see boundaries that can’t be overcome or walls that can’t be scaled. I also don’t believe they need to ‘pigeon hole’ people the way previous generations have. They are the first truly post-industrial generation, who expect to be empowered not to be controlled. The old certainties of fixed routes through life; school, university, profession; job for life, financial security, don’t exist and they expect to spend their lives travelling and experiencing in ways that scare most of us.
«Gone are the days of passive consumerism and citizenship. In many ways Steve was the flag bearer for that»
Our children are the interactive generation; gone are the days of passive consumerism and citizenship. In many ways Steve was the flag bearer for that, launching the world of infinite possibility thanks to the iPad and iPhone. He helped to develop a generation who see the world through very personalised eyes and are almost blind to colour, race, creed or gender and as a result I don’t think the question matters all that much because I don’t think that gen Z see Jobs as a man or a woman but as a person who rocked their world!