This topic is about women in the workplace. When I say women employees, there are all kinds of things that pop into people’s minds, and probably everybody’s thinking something different. What I’m going to get into is (and there’ll be a bunch of recommendations at the bottom, both for women and for men) are women cheap and inexpensive employees? Are they worth the risk? Are they an opportunity?
What happened was I was talking about something with a woman, I’m talking about the topic in planning of an episode, and all of a sudden she started talking to me about incidents that happened. How other women set a really bad example and hurt other women’s chances.How opportunities are ruined or restricted because of the way some women behave in the workplace. I’m not talking about how they go after each other. That’s well-noted, well-documented. It’s happened over and over again where it seems like the woman boss doesn’t really help out a woman who’s coming up. Those things may be changing over time. Hopefully they are. I’m talking about something a little different.
What she was talking about was the fact that here are a lot of women who are trying to show and demonstrate that they are really good employees, workers; that they’re creative, innovative, productive, etc.; all of the things that you would expect from a great man or woman regardless of what category, what sex they are. She started citing, and then another woman chimed in with other examples of women who, for example, come out of school, they go into a job, and they start out by saying and demanding on day one: “I graduated such and such, I am this. I need to have this much time off. I need to be allowed to have such and such for my kids. I’m going to be having kids in the near future. I’m going to need so many months or so much time off,” etc. They’re making these demands, because popular opinion in the media has said this is what is expected, that this is what everybody should have.
Let’s go to the other side. From the woman’s perspective, here she’s trying to establish that she is independent, just as good as a man, and then there’s a woman who’s saying: “I’m just good, and I’m so good in such a limited period of time that I can have things where I don’t show up because something happens in my family or I need time off,” etc. There’s a real conflict there.
Let me explain it by going through what happens in hiring a person or a woman. In some cases there are certain positions that people are going to be reluctant to hire a woman in certain situations. Why would that be? Take a look at it. Yes, there is bias, there’s prejudice. Is it in some cases an appropriate business decision? Nobody wants to say it. Let’s say for an example that you have (a key employee need), and I’ve had this discussion with many women, and quite frankly they understand it very well and can see the problem with it.
When a business hires somebody that would be a key employee, think in terms of how long they go out there, strive, and search for the right candidate. They don’t hire the candidate just to fill a spot, but they might spend months looking. We’re not talking about an employee that you put an ad in Craigslist or in the newspaper, or go to the local agency and say: “I need a new person to do XYZ,” or that you’re just going through the recent graduates in college. I’m talking about people that will end up being in key positions or going to be hired right into a key position. If it takes a long time to hire that person and choose them, then it’s also going to be hard to replace them, even for four weeks, three months, whatever the period is. It’s going to be very hard for somebody else to substitute during an absence. If it was easy for somebody to substitute, they wouldn’t have spent four, six or nine months searching for somebody for that key position. They spent a long time because they thought somebody else wasn’t appropriate or wasn’t sufficiently skilled.
When the person comes in, that person is expected to make decisions on a regular basis, not to be missing for some period of time. There are plenty of women who really are good at that. As I say this, this really is a dilemma because there are plenty of really great women out there. I’ve had many work for me, and I’ve worked with others in different capacities. But how does somebody make that decision? It’s very tough.
A couple of things. It could work better for companies of certain sizes, such as a very large company where there are more people around that can substitute, etc. But a relatively smaller company, if somebody’s gone for a period of time, it could be a substantial loss. Also, the higher up a chain a person goes, the more exclusive, the more important they might be.
Guys are used to, in a sense, at the end of the day just all of the sudden being told: “You’ve got to stay late.” The problem is that this is a real issue, and as I see it, women need to call each other out. Realize the negative effect they have on each other. Keep in mind that, as one woman said, and as I said the other woman chimed in, a whole bunch of things that just really, really hurt women in general. When women turn around and feel they have the right that: Oh, my kid is sick, I have to go home or I have to stay home. School called and I have to go pick up my kids. No, I can’t stay late because of my kids, the activities they’re in, etc. My child has something, like an appointment to go to see the dentist or a doctor, or whatever appointment it is. Those things are all “legitimate, nice, wonderful excuses,” but should the business care about it?
Yes, you want to keep somebody happy, but when choosing employees, let me ask you this: Do you have insurance for your home, your car, your life, or whatever else? Why do you have it? You have it to reduce the financial problems of risk. There’s a cost, in essence. That’s really what’s happening when people are hiring somebody, they think or they wonder: “Are they going to be there?”
Okay, a woman wants to be treated like a man. You say you can do anything a man can do? Then you got to do it, not just for the job and yourself, but for the other women out there that really can and really will. There are many that do it, and there are really many that do it very, very well. In actuality, women really need to realize those effects that they have on other women, and shouldn’t be making the excuses or chiming in: “Gee, we have to do this, we should do this,” etc. As the businessperson, should you really care? How much should you care? How much should you reduce the price that you pay somebody for being nice? Or should you just be hiring somebody else?
As I say, there are a lot of women employees and entrepreneurs, though, that on the other hand are great. This is where men can really benefit. This is the recommendation for men. You can really benefit, because if you can find and choose women employees who don’t want to talk about anything to do with home, you’ve probably got a gem. They are not bringing in anything to do with their obligations and other outside things, but really just want to really succeed and see the business succeed, you’ve found a treasure. As I say, there are many out there.
Thank you very much, and I assume I’m going to get a few comments, calls, and messages on this one. But really, it’s an issue that nobody wants to talk about because it’s supposedly politically incorrect. We have to talk about it, bring it out, and realize it. These two women told me about it and started talking about it. It really is an issue for women. I’ve heard so many stories over time, and it really hurts other women. Take care. Thank you.