I was ‘one of the boys’ and it made me a bitch

The danger of the boys club is not the fact that there’s multiple men in one space, it goes code red when a girl becomes ‘one of the boys’. How do I know? Because I used to be the chosen one. I was one of the boys with a bunch of guys that I absolutely adore and who really are great people – except that privileged position made me feel like a queen bee. And did I use that power to break open the gender restriction and bring in more women? Hell no, why would I want to lose my incredible position of being their confidant, spoilt bitch and special chosen one? Any other woman was competition (except when she was a mate’s target, because I’m your wing man bro!!). And I cringe at it now, because it goes completely against my ridiculously raging feminist core – but it also obviously pandered to my total adoration of acceptance and feeling ‘special’.

Why do I tell you this? Because from my experience, I don’t think women particularly change a culture just by their mere presence in a merry band of men. In fact, any hint at change will whip a queen bee into a defensive frenzy, afraid that the new order will mean she’s not the chosen one any more. What can I say – I’m just not that confident in measuring culture by numbers.
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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Networking as a Guy-Friend Girl

A guy-friend girl could basically be summed up in two words: Sarah Miller. I served my time with the female population at a single-gender high school, and while I love my lady friends, there really is nothing so pleasant as a great bloke friend. This is basically what my bloke friendships entail: beer, and banter. This is why I love them so much, because my diarrhoea mouth that runs on sarcasm generally leads to pissed off lady friends, but is just taken as face value crap by dudes. That rocks my socks. And my lady friends who get me are the absolute loves of my life, because they’re smart self-assured diamonds in the rough.
It’s not so great for networking though. It’s especially not so great for work situations, like those where the women gather to discuss children, relationships and specific to Singapore, managing their maids. Pass me a beer and point me to the closest bloke please.
But then comes that awkward moment when you approach a few men to join their conversation, and they graciously allow you to join, with the most uneasy look on their face. They’re so uneasy in fact, you can tell this is the face they used when they introduced their brother to their brand new mother-in-law, and the brother happened to be Bernard Black from Black Books.
 

Honestly, I don’t know if it will ever get better for me. LIke does there get a point where I’m unattractive enough that I can be straight but accepted like some asexual unicorn with absolutely no threat potential whatsoever? I will have to re-assess this in 20 years time. I do honestly wish I could be in the boys club though. Y’all get to talk about such interesting things, keep each other to a code of decency, and party hard without constantly assessing each other’s reputation – I want to go to there.
Don’t worry though. Despite the awkwardness and raised eyebrows, I still say screw it and speak to whoever I like. And Lord help me if I have to speak about one more diet and exercise regime while waiting to make my move to the other side of the room. For the record, small chat topics I will indulge in include: tv, movies, tv, celebrity dirt, Youtube viral videos, annoying people on Facebook, stand up comedy, real politics, and cooking. Small chat topics that turn me into Ron Swanson from Parks and Recration include: weight, domestic duties, shopping, celebrity PR, tabloid politics, and anything approving about pop music that’s not ironic (in the hipster sense of irony).
On a momentarily serious note though, this whole crap vibe of ‘appropriateness’ of women speaking to men is yet another reason that the glass ceiling is continuing to break birds’ necks.
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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Vaginas Earn Little and Cost Lots: Here’s How To Avoid Being A Broke One

Here’s something I tweeted a while ago:

“Women leave approximately $500k on the table by the time they’re 60 if they don’t negotiate an equitable 1st salary” linkedin.com/today/post/art…

— Sarah Miller (@whippasnappahr) January 3, 2013

-$500,000.000 in salary over a lifetime

Here’s a study that came out a day after:

Young Women Pay Dearly for Gender Gap

“Female graduates in Australia are earning as much as $14,000 less than their male counterparts following a dramatic increase in the gender pay gap last year.”

-$14,000.00 in at least first year of professional work

Here’s something I read about a year earlier:

A Tough Old Town

“Unlike the stereotypical male dero, you won’t find her sleeping rough. She won’t necessarily have a history of mental illness, cognitive impairment or substance abuse. Instead, she will most likely have held down a job all her life and raised a family. She will have made ends meet. But a divorce, separation, an illness or domestic violence means she can no longer make it in [Sydney].”

Precarious financial and housing security in older age

Here’s a fact we don’t often recognise about retirement savings:

The Gender Gap in Retirement Savings

“Because the current superannuation system is linked to paid work, it overwhelmingly disadvantages women who are more likely to move in and out of paid work to care for family members. Currently, the average superannuation payout for women is a third of the payout for men.”

Meager retirement savings

That is what your vagina earns you.

A screenshot of the photo essay “It Could Be You”

And on the purchasing side of things, there’s another awful reality.

Everything marketed to women is more expensive. That is what your vagina costs you.

Pens. Tampons. Dry cleaning, hair cuts, insurance, pharmaceuticals. They all contribute to higher living costs simply as a result of your gender.

So with this awful set of facts, here’s what HR professionals need to do:

  • Benchmark & grade salaries in organisations. Same job, different gender, same salary. Bam.
  • Eliminate the stigma of leave and flexibility allowances for male and female employees. Enable them both to invest in their career and family unit, it’s all one big cycle of benefits to eachother.

And girlfriend, this is what you need to do right now:

  • Accept that no-one is coming. Not an employer, nor a husband, not even an enlightened teacher. You are all you’ve got. And tell yourself every time you day dream about your future that no-one is coming to take you there. You are all you’ve got.
  • Ditch the pink. It’s costing you big bucks to purchase pink-ified goods.
  • Salary sacrifice to your retirement savings from day one of your career.
  • Buy a piece of shit property so you can own it outright quickly. Get out of the rental market. Get out of a 2 income 50 year mortgage. Get into some housing security.
  • Make sure you’re not getting screwed out of a salary you’re entitled to. Be vigilant. Be a pushy bitch. At least you’ll be a pushy bitch that’s getting paid well, instead of a poor lovely lady.
  • Get some real friends. Ditch Mrs Jones, she’s spending her husband’s money and her time judging you. Real friends will talk to you about money just like a good conversation on sex, relationships and careers – honest, real and unedited. And they don’t rejoice when things go bad, they pitch in to make it better.
  • Respect money as a worthy object of your serious time and effort, that requires if not a daily, then at least a weekly, investment of time. When people sustain their wealth but seem like money is no object, it’s all an act. Don’t be fooled by the calm swan performance on top, those little feet frantically paddling below are exactly what you need to be doing too.
Good luck babe, and may you, not your relationships or your gender, define your life path.

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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Interview Tip: Tuck Away the Family Jewels

“Mmm shiny things – I want! Lucky bitch! I hate you!” 
The thoughts going through my mind as I try to listen to someone talking about themselves while a huge sparkly diamond winks at me from their finger.
My rings are a safety blanket, so taking them off before an interview would unnerve me. So no, my tip isn’t to take off your big shinies.
My tip: twist around the ring, so the jewels are tucked into your palm and the plain (or plainer band in the case of those lucky gals with a diamond encrusted band) is shown to the interviewer. The interviewer might notice it, but probably not if you’re hands are kept still.
Interviews are about likability. Don’t make the HR lady who couldn’t get a proposal from her long time partner if she paid him (ahem) to stare at your beautiful jewelry – you got an interview with your written word, now wow her with your spoken word!
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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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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