People & Human Resources

How can I attract more women to our blokey workplace?

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Dear Aunty B,

Our workplace is extremely top heavy with men and always has been, as quite frankly the industry is male dominated.

I am a senior manager (female) and I am fighting a losing battle to get more women employed at senior levels. I have identified the problem but don’t have the solutions.

The problem is that the men I talk to claim they can’t find the women with the experience they need because when they are in their 30s, they have babies and don’t want to work full-time.

This results in a blokey environment with lots of girls who never progress up the ladder. The only women in senior levels are like me. They either have no children or a stay home/part-time husband, work long hours and can swear and drink like the best of them.

Any tips Aunty B?

Dear Any tips,

Look, you have to get it into these drongos’ minds that a woman working four days a week can be as good as a man working five. Truly! And you pay the women for less! Exploitation? Of course it is! But then nature exploited us by making us have babies and then compounding the situation by making us juggle work and kids for 15 years and plonking us in a country where men hate housework. (What, dear reader? You like housework?)

Some women will trade salary to have more time with the kids in those crucial early years. (I did.) So in return for your exploitation you have to ensure they are not put on some mummy track, are kept in mind for promotions, and every time someone says “they are only part-time”, you reply: “And doing more than you full-time so shut your mouth,” or words to that effect.

Of course, the obvious benefit of taking on an experienced, ambitious woman who needs flexible hours is you can get a woman with great experience because so many companies are like yours and demand that workers have to be in the office five days a week, at the beck and call of all and sundry.

So here is what you should do. Push like crazy to hire a senior woman in a four day a week position. Once everyone sees how well that works out, the rush will be on (I hope).

Be smart,
Your Aunty B

 

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

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