I approach this blog with caution, extreme caution. *I welcome all feedback & opinions! The words ‘gender diversity’ have the habit of establishing on someone’s face the expression also associated with opening the work fridge and realising that Bob from accounts still hasn’t cleared their lunch from last Thursday.
So let’s get some things straight.
I don’t agree with women who claim there is no gender divide. I also don’t agree with women who fall back on gender as the only divisive factor in a workplace.
I fall in the middle.
I see the disproportionate representation of gender in digital, and I realise that it stems from a mixture of factors. Whatever your preferred argument, or most recently read article explaining what the divide is, we know that it needs to be addressed; in one way or another.
This is where my qualms come in, in full force. The way that some choose to address it.
I sat, not long ago, in a meet up engineered especially for women working in my field, listening to a power point list of ‘what to wear’, ‘how to approach men at a networking event’, and ‘how women should negotiate a pay rise’.Let me stress, I understand and completely see the value in making these meet ups ‘female only’, what I don’t understand is the inherent bias that these women then place on themselves….
In the very spirit of equality, I don’t appreciate being told that I have to approach men in a networking setting differently because I was born with a different kind of organ.
Instead of speaking about how to dress for success, talk about which coding for beginners courses have the best reviews, and wear whatever the hell you want.
Instead of speaking about how to approach men at an event, talk about confrontation and how to get comfortable with it.
Instead of speaking about how women should negotiate a pay rise, speak about how anyone should negotiate a pay rise.
Is there something to the idea of making every second one of these meet ups open to all? Is there a way for us to include all genders identifications to the discussion? Surely a better way to address gender diversity issues in the workplace is to discuss gender diversity within a gender diverse group?
In the push for equality, women are the first ones who should start treating themselves as equal. With our company, when it comes to doing your job, I can assure you that your pay rise definitely isn’t going to be based on what pencil skirt you wore last Tuesday, it will depend on you getting your sh*t done.