Monday, May 13, 2002

More on women-only/majority workplaces

Interesting discussion on Burning Bird here where who should rush to my defense? Gentlemen. Thanks guys.

I particularly find what Tom Graves says there interesting:

"Dysfunctional behaviours in so-called 'male-dominated' environments have been much-studied, and have been the source of much finger-pointing by blame-oriented (nominal) 'feminists' and others. Dysfunctional behaviours in 'female-dominated' environments have rather noticeably not been studied - or rather, when they have, the results have often been either passively or actively suppressed, because they're not pretty, and don't _at all_ conform to those merry stereotypes about "sugar and spice and all things nice"... (cf. the US National Family Violence Survey, which for thirty years has consistently shown women as _more_ violent than men, in physical violence - let alone non-physical, at which women have always 'excelled')."

Fascinating. I'd like to think that Shelley's account is truth:

"To be honest, I've not really noticed that much of a difference, good or bad, in overall behavior of a group based on the sex of the upper management. Regardless of the preferred expression -- tears or words or actions -- excessive emotionalism at work occurs in both sexes. Sex of the boss, number of men or women in the group, sex of your co-workers -- none of these purely sex-based characteristics play into this one."

But I still say, after having survived two work environments of primarily women, from leadership on down, it's different. In my experience, not good different. You'd think, wouldn't you, that the woman president and CEO at one of these companies, a mother herself, would have somehow been a little more understanding when I nearly died after giving birth to my child and needed a second surgery--meaning I was out two sets of 8 weeks (instead of one) on disability. Oh, don't think they were paying me during that time. Silly. No paid maternity leave there. And isn't it interesting that when push came to shove, she was able to lay off this star performer of the company with a five-week-old-baby at home. What did the rest of the girls do on layoff day? Had a pizza lunch together. Mmmmm. Warm and fuzzy, isn't it?

I learned my lesson. I look for diversity in a workplace, not assuming I'm "safe" because I'm with a group of women. I like ethnic diversity, diversity of the genders, and whatever the hell other diversity I can find. It tends to dilute the psycho factor when we unrelated humans gather to complete tasks for money.

And you may say, what about Blog Sisters? We're all women? And Iove talking with everyone here, and hearing the amazing opinions, and learning from you. But I'm not sure it would be the same if we were showing up to work together every day instead of hanging out here talking about life.

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