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Old 01-16-2005, 07:12 PM
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by aklim
No, but playing the devil's advocate here, which is the better investment when you see a woman of childbearing age and a man?
Depends on the woman and the man.

Here's a case in point: I was on 24/7 call for my job for a couple of years. Not a big deal, I get the occasional phone call about something that is broken, and I have a laptop and high-speed connectivity to log in and deal with it. At the time this started my son was a toddler, and I was a divorced mother. I suppose you would look at the situation and say, I'm not likely to be a good employee in that situation.

Not long into that time period, we hire a guy whose role includes being on call sometimes on a rotating basis with me. We hire him, and shortly aftrewards he marries his fiancee and they start spawning. What do you know? He 'couldn't be on call' because it would interfere with his family life. He was often out because his (nonworking) wife was ill, or one of the kids was ill. He was always coming in late or leaving early for doctors' appointments, or contractors coming out to the house. You almost have to wonder what the stay-at-home wife's 'job' was.

Who was the better hire? Who was more reliable? Who was available off hours?

A couple years later, he was laid off, and I'm still there, so I guess that's my reward. If my boss had put me on some 'mommy track' because I'm female, already a parent, and could marry and start spawning again any day now, well, I'd have been on to a better job opportunity quickly, and I and my new employer would have been glad for it. *shrug*

Yes, it's one instance, and not a sociological study. All I'm saying is, you cannot judge a book by the cover, at least not if you want to have the best people work for you. You take people as individuals, and judge them based on their own behavior and qualities, otherwise you're just running a good old boys' network and hiring people who are just like you, because that's what you're comfortable with.

Allow me a small rant: It's funny; we laud dedicated fathers who make time for their families. We slap a guy on the back because he leaves work early a day or two a week to coach the kids' soccer team. We make a big deal out of single dads, how hard it must be for them 'doing it all on their own'. I listened to male middle-managers pat themselves on the back strangely often for working flex time to accomodate their families in speeches to their groups and divisions. But we have this thing in the workplace against mothers who do the same thing, or who we think might attempt to do the same thing, and I know I wouldn't dream of taking some of the liberties or advertising my parental status the way some of my male coworkers have in the past. The same actions from me would be perceived differently, and I expend a fair amount of energy avoiding any hint that my parental status or marital status may affect my job performance. It's a double standard, and I get tired of it on a personal level.

Last edited by webwench; 01-16-2005 at 07:54 PM.
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