I belong to a popular professional on-line network, and I joined two groups for women in particular professions. Both boards address issues of particular concern to women.
One board posts a lot about differential salary surveys, the importance of mentoring, body language during negotiations, and really weird stuff, like upcoming changes in applicable regulations.
The other board posts about work life balance, emotional intelligence, sociological studies on the difference between men and women, body language, and that oh-so-important-professional issue …
Yeah, weight loss.
Well, pardon the … (we can still swear here, can’t we?) … pardon the fuck out of me, but what the hell does weight loss have to do with my profession?
Yes, we all need to be more active and eat fewer processed foods. (And you, my brothers, can join us.) Yes, we are held to a hire standard of personal appearance than our brothers. (Maybe.)
But I am just sick to shit of all these socially defined ‘women’s issues’ on professional boards. Salary is a women’s issue; regulation is a women’s issue; shifting market demand is a women’s issue. Health, appearance and presentation, social expectations, ‘office politics’, and, yes, even the dreaded ‘work-life balance’ are human issues.
Auditing a company in an industry and country with low incidences of women in authority, now that’s a women’s issue our brothers might not be interested in - unless they’re software engineers in the US (because I’ve got an SME that will be ripping your validation policy to shreds while you’re still thinking she’s kind of cute). (Yes, she is, and no, you can’t have her number.)
So, please, “women’s” professional boards, please stick to salary surveys, glass ceilings, and where to find cute shoes that can hold up to construction sites.
Okay, you can list good house-cleaning services.
And a little advice to our brothers that, no, you can’t ask the auditor for a date, is acceptable, too.
My feeling are much more vitriolic than my post.
NO WEIGHT LOSS ADVICE. NONE. NEVER. WEIGHT IS NOT A WOMEN’S ISSUE.