Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gender Privileges in the Workforce: It's not just for men.

I had the opportunity to walk in someone's shoes this past week, so to speak. A male friend was livid at feedback he received from two female superiors who felt his performance had stagnated over the past quarter. 

It's easy to run your mouth about a topic you are passionate about. Leveling the professional field for men and women is mine. Women have sacrificed plenty throughout the years and it's time the workforce compensated their need to be more than just domestic powerhouses. Besides, their work only begins at the end of the workday. They head home and take care of the children, the home. So what if the rules of work engagement tilts in their favor a little. They need flex time and the opportunity to work from home. It's still not fair they are underpaid, undercompensated, misunderstood.

"I have family too," the male friend blurted in frustration. It was as if he had read my mind.

He puts in plenty of overtime every month. He goes home early maybe two out of every Fridays of the month, if a minor glitch in the workflow process does not arise at that defining hour before he should be heading home.

On the other hand, his female managers leave the office promptly every evening. Five o'clock on the dot, they are out the door, rain or shine. They have young children to pick up from day care. Let's not forget the time off for medical appointments - wellness checkups, flu shots, and just-in-case-it's-something-serious visits.

This is where his frustration stems from. He was being judged by women who he believed were more privileged, women who were putting in less hours and delegating more work to him so they can meet their domestic obligations. And it is unfair.

I still believe women have paid their dues. It's about time the workforce makes some retribution to accommodate them. At the same time, I find it unfair that this dedicated and diligent man is not privileged to the same accommodations. After all, he does have a family to tend to.

No comments:

Post a Comment