HR: Ladies, It is All about You?
Millennials will tell you bluntly that you are sexist if you talk about employees issues specific to women. Gender bias and sexism do certainly exist. It is an undeniable fact. One thing is also sure although we see more and more men sharing child-rearing and household responsibilities: women are more vulnerable to specific household concerns. It could be because they are a "sandwich generation" or single parents, or more family- than career--oriented, or just because of "inherent" sociological perspectives.
Consequently, as HR we have to address individual or organization concerns stemming from women-specific issues or from personal issues that seem to affect more women than men. Have you ever been in an all-girl school or college? I do not know if an all-boys school have similar issues but girls and women can have more than heated debates - to put it mildly - about subjects that are not "issues". HR translation? in some environments, employee relations issues are dominated by women antagonizing each other, for one reason or another. HR policies applications can be misconstrued as personal attacks, positions or functions can be misused for personal "vendettas," meetings can become a platform for verbal aggression towards a personally "disliked" or "antagonized" co-worker/professional "rival" (oops!! competition to the extreme!). One can say that these ER issues are not-gender-specific. Correct. They are however more prevalent among women. Worse, sensibilities can lead to paranoia: engagement or coaching activities can be misconstrued as "they" are "doing this to me" interpretation. Welcome to the unglamorous side of the world of ER!
A Fine Line Between Aggressivity and Visibility
Nayak gives us four points of advice against invisibility-leading attitudes.
BE visible, yes! Go for it! Also, caution! Recognize the fine line between visibility and aggressivity. It is a matter of practice and mostly of an acquired mindset. Turn to aggressiveness.
- Yes, tweet your horn! Tweet it when and where needed. Whoo-hoo!!
- I have to say that women love volunteering themselves. They certainly do it better than men. Do it at work with the same enthusiasm as at school, at the girls scouts, at soccer or hockey....
- You do not take "no" for an answer? At times, we need to settle with a "no". It could mean "no" now, "maybe later" or "in other circumstances". Understand the context. It is a learning process.
- Many women would say "what do you have to lose?" They only can say "no". What a positive attitude! Visibility is not winning a likability or popularity contest. It is about daring: embracing either yourself or a new, improved you.
Après tout, qui ne risque rien n'a rien!....C'est peut-être la raison pour laquelle les femmes Turques ont décidé d’être visibles tout récemment!