Tuesday, March 8, 2011

i'm just a girl

today was international women's day (so i found out when i read the paper this morning).

as if to poke fun at the occasion, i spent two hours in a management meeting this afternoon with 13 colleagues, all men. no, i wasn't serving the coffee. but you could see why one's imagination might take them there.

i used to argue vehemently that i wasn't a feminist until a few years ago when someone whose opinion i respect probably more than anyone else's told me i was. i considered defending myself until his reasoning started to make complete sense.

i thought a feminist was a woman who burnt her bra, stomped her feet and refused to shave her underarms. in fact, a feminist is a woman who believes in gender equality. equal political, economic, and social rights, and equal opportunities. damn straight i am a feminist.

i'll admit, i probably do have a chip on my shoulder about this sometimes. but i am also happy to be passionate about things i believe in.

that said, i am not suggesting my meeting this afternoon should have looked differently. if those 13 men were each the best candidates for their respective positions (which, for the record, i believe they would have been) then that's the way it goes.

i do not believe in forced gender balance in the workplace. down with tokenism. who wants a job that way anyway?

i just think it's a shame the unbalanced ratio is so common. at least it has been in my experience.

so, what's my point? i don't really know. just thought it was interesting.

which way does the gender scale tip in your office?
do you care?

1 comment:

Kellyansapansa said...

I'm totally with you. There is an absolute gender imbalance in the (global) company I work for, but I don't believe that's the fault of the company or a deliberate strategy. Whenever we advertise a managemet position externally, the ratio of male to female applicants is always heavily skewed in the male direction. If the company were to insist on hiring 50% female managers, we would inevitably end up hiring some who were not suitable for the role. I consider myself a feminist, but I don't believe that "equality" means "being the same".

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