Do you consider women equal to men? Do you as a woman consider yourself equal to men or are you influenced by old fashioned limitations?
It’s quite against my principle to talk badly about employers as I think this is first of all, a waste of my time (if it doesn’t fit me, I’m welcome to find a new job) and second one doesn’t spit in his or her food. In this case however, I am no longer working for the specific company and second, I will refrain from mentioning the company’s name, to prevent any harm. As a (working) woman and single widowed mom, it’s probably quite clear to you, I have had my share in life and if before the death of my late husband I wasn’t independent, I sure became so after his passing. And I admit, highly likely there were some matters that I gladly would’ve left in his hands, but even when he was still alive, my skills to get things done, move matters forward and handle approximately 100 things at a time, were far better than his or at least at a similar level.
He, as a modern open-minded man and partner, was perfectly fine with that, even encouraging it as he was flying abroad quite a lot and not in need of some desperate non-independent partner who couldn’t handle matters while he wasn’t around.
So when I applied for the job of Social Media Manager at a company selling an anti-menstruation-pain device (does that sound like a device a man can use?) I quite understood the underlying thought of the CEO in choosing a woman. As he stated, “A woman will understand the questions and doubts women have before purchasing this device.”; yes, men indeed do not have a womb and no men cannot know what it is like when your hormones are sky-high or when you’re in such pain, you’d prefer to stay home and hide from the outside world. So here I actually agreed.
Now let’s say this company was and is run by a very successful, well-organized CEO. And let’s say this company did not experience constant production trouble (the warehouse was and is run by a man), and let’s say there weren’t numerous complaints concerning the product (developed by a man), and let’s say refunds were done in time instead of being postponed by the male manager handling this. And for the sake of being utterly positive, let’s say no huge amounts were not wasted on non-profitable Facebook ads lacking proper ROI (published and managed by, yes, feel free to guess: a man). Let’s say the anti-menstruation device was always sold and shipped accordingly, arriving on time and we have a well-oiled profitable company run and owned by a man. Even then the below showing statement is totally out of place and source of great agitation from yes, ME as a woman:
“There’s nothing that can be done about it; women lack negotiation and leadership skills, men are simply better at it as they are tougher!”
In a split second I felt the blood going to my face as it turned red out of anger. Especially being the only woman in the company, and as it was said by the CEO, it wasn’t a very pleasant position to be in. All the wires in my female brain are doing overtime feeling frustrated about this ignorant and offensive remark. But as my late husband used to say, “Ignorance and stupidity in the same package, how convenient!” – I decided to be above things and before responding and getting into an actual overheated discussion with him, I simply that not answering is answering as well and far stronger that blurring out idiotic remarks. It simply struck me - This same CEO, younger than myself, may have left the village up North he came from, but the village sure hasn’t left him. A nasty expression, but still fits certain people, even in 2018.
If he was a professional, smart CEO, he would’ve have never made this remark in a room full of men and only one female colleague.
If he would’ve have been smart and understood his female market to which he wants to promote his anti-menstruation-pain device, he would not have hired a male Marketing freelancer, stating “Showing an oversized woman on Instagram, is not in place as fat women do not sell”.
If he would have been smart, he would have listened to the potential investors (a man AND a woman, how surprising) explaining the urgent changes he must make within the company to keep it from going bankrupt.
If he would have been smart, he would have done some self-reflection and understood that his middle-aged attitude could very well be the reason he does not find a partner (it’s 2018 and amazingly us females don’t need men anymore to provide in us financially or help us “negotiate” as we are perfectly capable of doing so ourselves!)
I have raised a son on my own as a single mother in a country I wasn’t even born in and of which I barely spoke the language after my late husband passed away. I have overcome financial difficulties on my own without any help (not from men nor from women). I have financed and build my own house (yes, I indeed had to negotiate the quote I received and yes, I managed the construction workers on site) and yes, I’m running my own business as a freelancer and doing and feeling great! So maybe, just maybe women are capable of handling all after all?
My son knows that women are equal to men and can do the same and even more. I can be a mother, I can finance, I can build, and I can love.
And the man I met after 11 years of single-hood knows his partner is an independent woman and shares this point of view. His daughters were and are being taught to always make sure they have full independence in life, financially and practically as to avoid them from getting into a relationship with an MCP as my former CEO clearly was.