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        © 2017 by 33 Talent  EA Singapore: 13C6298

No Meritocracy for Women


AS A BELIEVER IN THE RESULTS ONLY WORK ENVIRONMENT MODEL (ROWE) AND ITS

POTENTIAL ROLE IN ENSURING ABSOLUTE GENDER EQUALITY AT WORK, ARTICLES SUCH AS A BBC NEWS ONE ENTITLED "SEXISM IN SILICON VALLEY AND BEYOND: TECH WAKE-UP CALL" MAKE ME GENUINELY FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY.

The BBC report details the recent discrimination lawsuits of a number of women in Silicon Valley, how they have been allegedly denied career opportunities, victims of a gender bias that is endemic in the system. Excuses are rolled out such as systems of “pattern recognition” in personal development – i.e. males have been successful before, therefore they will do well again, but these clearly paper over the issue.

According to the article, the numbers of women in Tech are the same as they were 20 years ago. There is a lot of hot air in the various debates on social media, but seemingly little progress if you look at the raw stats. The UN says that it would take 70 years (at the current rate) to close the 19% pay gap in the wider UK market. And in Australia it’s getting worse - data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015 shows that the average man working full-time earns 18.2% or $283.20 more than the average full-time working woman, which is an increase!

WHY CAN’T WE JUST TREAT EMPLOYEES AS MERE EMPLOYEES RATHER THAN ASSIGNING THEM LABELS BECAUSE OF THEIR GENDER? (OR YES, ANYTHING ELSE FOR THAT MATTER)

To my mind, there is no sane reason why the playing field should not be absolutely level. If women were judged purely by performance, then they would spend far less time and energy having to manage the “gender issues” that plague them. And in my experience they would also probably earn more than men! At 33 Talent we run a ROWE and its no surprise to me we have an 80% female workforce. I'm literally the odd one out in the management team.

Why should they have to fear for their careers after 6 months away on maternity leave? Why should they have to be so aggressive in proving their ability to their male colleagues – surely results should speak for themselves? Why are many beset with doubts as to their suitability, when in actual fact the doubts don’t have anything to do with them at all.

It is time to forget about the “gender debate.” Come on, it’s pretty simple, there is no debate. Promote people on their ability to do a job. Reward people on the results that they have achieved. Give people responsibility that they have earned. Trust people with the future of your business. No more excuses!

Promotion, reward, responsibility or trust shouldn’t alter according to their gender. It is nonsensical that gender even comes near these sorts of decisions. We shouldn’t be “aiming” to have 30% women in our boardrooms…. We should merely aim to have the best possible boardroom. If that is a boardroom with 90% women, then so be it – if they are the best qualified to do the job, then why not?

How many people in the world think that Marissa Mayer got the Yahoo job just because she is a pretty blonde who could bring a new marketing image to a tired old internet giant? Sadly I have heard it said by more people than you would even imagine….It’s pathetic.

Gender politics of course works both ways – men suffer too, when quotas need filling or due to stereotype pressures they are expected to work longer hours and not be so “soft” around having family time. Focus on Results and this also can be got rid of.

It really is the stuff of the primary school playground.

It needs to stop.