An Interview with Nicole Bridger of Nicole Bridger (Part Four)

Every year, a report in put out. Canada has the highest rank for quality in education in the world with the most educated population of women, ever.

It requires new structures in society, not formal necessarily, but informal. Some that you’ve discussed a bit earlier with how to deal with childcare, how to build communities, and so on. But much of the conversation has been around women in business, women in the home, women that have both.

The childcare responsibilities that still come along with both. One question that comes to mind for me. How do we get men involved? Also, how can we structure things to take into account all of these factors?

This were totally different. You can’t carry over the exact structures into that now. They are swiftly moving into obsolescence.

It is a hard question. Because I don’t have a partner in my life. I just witness my friends and the partners in their lives. One thing I’m working with in my staff, or a goal for me in our company as we grow, is to move to a four-day work week.

So, they did this in Norway. It is happening. It shows no homework for children. Things like that. Things we think are so abstract and maybe even lazy, but that children need more time for playing than doing homework.

I think if we adopted this as a society. It would make for much happier people. I know, with regards to a shorter work week, if you have a proper weekend then you have much more energy in the week and can get much more done.

I have learned to get a lot done in a short amount of time out of necessity, and then you have more time to be with your family. If you had a four-day work week, and you partner did, and so you had the kids one day, and they had the kids one day, there’s one day booked together.

Nicole Bridger Edmonton pop up store

Nicole Bridger Edmonton pop up store

It is all about sharing. That’s one way where the responsibilities could shift. This is assuming a heterosexual couple, which is a whole other conversation. The father would then have the children for the whole day on their own, which I think is really important.

Because most of the time, and this is an assumption, the mom is around. Husbands, fathers, don’t have a lot of solo time with kids. I think it’s really important, especially when they are little to get comfortable and after visiting parents, and confident.

It’s not that they don’t love their kids. Sometimes they feel like they can’t do it, “Oh God, what am I going to do with the kid all day long?!” You get creative. You figure it out. Or, maybe, they place their work as more important.

The undeniable shift is coming from women starting to earn more. I can’t say that about a man that my work is worth more if you’re getting paid more. So, I think it’s slowly happening. That’s one idea that I had.

In terms of getting men more involved in general, I appreciate you bringing that up. As a professional woman, maybe, that’s why it is so hard right now as a professional woman because we are in the middle of a shift and what we need is not in place, yet.

We are growing out of what was the old way. The old way, I think men had a certain sense of entitlement around their role in the household, you know? I think of the older generations, “I work. You stay home. And I don’t need to take care. That’s a woman’s work.”

azura-bay-at-nicole-bridger-stores

That doesn’t exist anymore. I think there’s a need that arises when you live in a city where both have to work. It’s just you couldn’t survive off one person’s income. So, to be honest, I think all change starts with conversation and, maybe, the fact that society is talking about it more.

To me, it all seems like second nature – so obvious to me. Sometimes, I forget that there are a lot of people in the world that don’t understand equal rights issues, or why. Even hearing about someone getting yelled at for breastfeeding in public, it is ridiculous.

Like you said, with social media, we are living in a very unique time, where social media is creating a huge community bringing up issues, even breastfeeding campaigns and so on. You see them in the social media.

The next generation is on social media. Our parents and grandparents might not be, but our generation and our children have devices literally in their hand. You see two-year-olds using iPhones. I’m curious to se how that evolves for our children.

I think technology can also be a negative thing, but I love it because it keeps me connected – even with people I know, not people I don’t know. I know that my friend in New Zealand had her baby. Things like that.

You are able to stay connected. It is a really cool time to be living and it’s forcing us to feel more globally connected, which I think is really important. We’ve created these borders between us. I guess it served some purpose, but I think that we need to see ourselves as one planet, one human race.

No more black-vs.-white, and gay-vs.-straight, and all of that stuff, we don’t need reasons to separate ourselves from each other. We need reasons to see ourselves as more connected, I think.

I can see this across religious and irreligious lines. The influence of a technology in opening conversations. I can see this in communities around weekly services – synagogues, temples, mosques, churches, cathedrals, and so on. New conversations are emerging and in secular institutions. I absolutely agree. One last question. Any feelings or thoughts in conclusion?

(Laugh)

Nothing comes to mind, I’m sure I’ll come up with something once I hang up the phone. But thanks for the interview, it has been an enjoyable conversation for me to think about those things.

Thank you for your time, Nicole.

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