Female-Friendly Workplace Policy? Be Human-Friendly!

Just attended a women’s network session tonight. Some takeaways:

  1. Even though there are workplace policies in place to support women (e.g. flexible working, gradual return to work after maternity leave), they may not dare to apply to these benefits. Why? -> perceived as weak or incapable; burden to the team; may affect appraisal, future promotions or even job security.
  2. Also need to bear in mind that these flexible working policies are not “mum specific”. Both men and women would want flexible lifestyle and work-life balance. We are equal!
  3. Gender neutral is not being gender inclusive.
  4. Setting a quota for women leadership may seem to be unfair to men. But for specific industries like pilot/engineering/agencies, some quota may be needed to force structural changes.
  5. We may lose chances coz we are shy or submissive. Sometimes we just need to “pretend” to have guts! Be an actress!! Nothing to lose (besides the embarrassment for rejection and our ego hurt a bit…)
  6. Don’t presume what a pregnant/ married woman want. Learn how to kill our unconscious bias!!! Everyone is an individual. Hear her stories before giving solutions.
  7. You would often hear from airplane PA announcement: “with us tonight is our gorgeous/lovely head of crew Nancy”. If you think about it, it is really creepy.
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