Male Managers Learn Gender Equality From Their Wives – Not a HR Policy

Society really likes a scapegoat don’t it? I have noticed that when most things go wrong, it’s either blamed on the government or businesses. As a collective group of people, capable of really great actions, society has a hopelessly pathetic external locus of control! One of the latest issues that’s pissing me off, is this gender-equality-in-the-workplace debate, and the tendency to blame it on businesses.
Apparently it is up to a business to teach employees about gender equality, to monitor and police it, and to identify it as a unique cultural component of that business alone. I see it being just like schools that are required to teach children behaviour, respect and manners. Yes, there is an element of this in business and schools, but the real groundwork and reinforcement comes from the employee and child’s home.
As a woman, my responsibility is to teach my partner about us having a real partnership today – not some outdated 1950s model. These are tangible tools for him to use as a supervisor and employer, and it’s far more effective than some HR chick whining at him about meeting diversity quotas.
The best male bosses I’ve ever had are devoted to their wives. They appreciate her role in the family, are grateful for her sacrifices for his career, and are supportive of her endeavours, even if they impact on his career. He understands the path in front of me as a young woman, and works to make it better. He is sympathetic because he has real experience of being an equal partner to a human being who happens to have different genitalia to him. He gets what a whole life requires, and not just a life of work and having the other 50% maintained by someone else.
Equality starts at home when:

  • both partners parent – they aren’t a mother and a babysitter
  • both partners cook, clean, wash, iron, shop, and pick up
  • both partners are responsible for sick family members
  • both partners manage the family diary, and equally negotiate engagements
  • both partners understand the input to run the house and to finance the lifestyle
  • both partners buy presents and write cards
  • both partners support each other’s pursuits outside of home life

Equality starts at home, and very quickly transfers into an attitude at work.
Do you think we idolise the 1950s family archetype to our society’s detriment? Is it the fault of businesses we suck at gender equality in the workplace?
Cheers,
Sarah
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.

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  • 2 October 2012
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