Category: On My Mind
As Women of HR gets ready to turn three years old this June, we’re in the process of going through our first major transition. For the past three years, the amazing and talented Lisa Rosendahl has been the driving force behind this site, spending countless hours soliciting, editing, and scheduling all of the fantastic and informative posts that have run. If not for her, this site would not be what it is today, and I know I’m not alone in expressing my gratitute to Lisa for all of her efforts. But as with any major project, as things evolve, changes become necessary. To allow her more time to focus on her own endeavors, Lisa has decided to step aside as editor, and I have stepped in to assume those duties. To read Lisa’s thoughts on the transition, stop over to her blog where she’s talking about it today as well.
As the new editor, I look forward to continuing to provide you, our readers, with the informative and thought-provoking posts you have come to expect. I’ll also be looking to add new themes, series, and topics to keep the site ever evolving and in tune with the changing nature of our profession and business in general.
I would like to offer a public THANK YOU to all of our intelligent, talented, and hard-working contributors who generously give of their own time to share their thoughts and experiences with all of you. Without them, we wouldn’t have a Women of HR!
And last but not least, a big THANK YOU to all of our readers for continuing to come back, week after week, to see what we’re currently talking about. If there’s anything in particular that you’d like to see us posting about, please comment below or send me a note at email@example.com. I welcome any suggestions for topics and themes, or any ideas you may have for ensuring that we’re relevant and providing you what you need. And if any of you have ever thought about wanting to write and would like to become a contributor, or even just test the waters with a guest post, please send me a note as well. We’d love to have you as part of our team!
Look, I don’t often get political on blogs. My views are my views and unless they intersect with HR, I don’t typically put them out there. Despite loving a good debate, and by good I mean respectful and not shouting matches, I don’t like getting up on soapboxes because I have terrible balance and will likely hurt myself and others - metaphorically and literally.
But if you read this blog, I’m sure you’d understand why articles like this, To be happy, we must admit women and men aren’t ‘equal’ just drive me batty. Let me lay it out there - I consider myself a feminist (Oh god, hide your children!).
I know that a lot of people seem to treat “feminist” like this horrible, dirty word. Vocal extremes on both sides of the argument aside, I don’t think at its heart that feminism is about forcing women out of the home, destroying families, and hating on men. That stuff ultimately is just a distraction from some serious and legitimate concerns that impact everyone in society, not just women.
Feminism has impacted:
- Women’s right to vote
- Women’s right to decide who and when to marry (if ever)
- Women’s access to education
- Women’s access to better health services, and yes, that includes contraception and abortion
- Women’s rights and options in the work place to include career choice, protections from harassment, equal pay, promotions, training, management, etc.
- Better protection and recognition under the law (e..g rape, abuse, right to own a business and property)
- Women’s ability to serve in the military and now (yay!) fight in combat.
And that’s just what I could name of the top of my head.
That list isn’t about taking away anything or forcing women to do or be something that they don’t want to. That list is about choices. That list is about freedom. That list is about giving women the same rights, access, responsibility, and yes, equality under the law. It’s about giving our daughters opportunities we never had, whether they chose to take advantage of them or not.
Is it perfect? No. Will it ever be? No. But it’s something to work towards and there is a lot still left to be done, Gay rights for one, but laws don’t change people’s hearts and minds. That only happens through societal change. Everyday people, including feminists, are the ones who have gotten us to the point we are at today.
Society is facing a lot of challenges right now and it is going through some major upheaval. But no, that’s not a bad thing either. Why? Because I don’t understand how someone can look at the state and status of women in this country or across the world and think that Feminism, of all things, is what is wrong with our world today. I think it’s long past the point that we need some societal upheaval.
But the most ironic aspect of that article espousing that men and women are not, and should not, be treated equally is that if not for feminists and societal change she would have never been allowed to write that article, much less be a published author in her own right. I’d think that at least she would have to agree that is a good thing.
About the author: Shauna is an HR professional with a diverse work history, a Master’s degree, and a PHR certification. She is also a huge geek, social media advocate, and infectious giggler. Besides being a co-founder of the Women of HR she also serves as the current Ringmistress of the Carnival of HR, is the former co-host of the HR Happy Hour blogtalk radio show, and blogs at her own site as the HR Minion.
Women, we have a vitally critical role that we must assert ourselves into now and for the long term foreseeable future. This role is hard to label and has many facets. We must take on this role. We must not shy away from it.
In the news there has an increase in the visibility of rapes and gang rapes, as well as sexual abuse. There are many stats regarding rape, one of the CNN articles I will link to later quotes a survey that 1 in 5 women are the victim of rape. As you start counting the women you know, you can start right here as one of the victims you know. But one in five says you know a lot more too. So we have a job to do. I found inspiration in this CNN article, Teach young men to treat women with respect.
But I want to push our roles as women further into the actionable details and broader in the scope.
- Our job is to teach boys to respect women.
- Our job is to continue to equalize the genders as partners on this planet.
- Our job is to teach women to be strong and build their self-esteem to help protect them.
- Our job is to encourage our brothers, uncles, male friends, fathers and spouses to be good role models for young men and boys. They can make a difference in the lives of boys that may feel the need to follow bad role models.
- Our job is to demand that coaches receive training on how to instill respect for women as part of their development of men.
- Our job is to demand that our military leaders receive training on how to instill respect for women as part of their development of men.
- Our job is to demand that their training is part of the exercise and education of our men.
- Our job is to make sure that men who evidently don’t really know what rape is, are not ever elected to public office.
- Our job is to educate our girls that being drunk can put you at risk of way too many things.
- Our job is to teach women to have each others back and to watch out for the ones that are treading into risky territory.
- Our job is to call out the males in our lives when they encourage the victimization image of women. (I am not talking about being prudish or Victorian about sexuality, that is counter-prod
- Our job is to be outraged and vocal about our outrage at any rape. It is actually a family discussion topic, if you have children that are teenagers. It can’t be swept under the rug, it must be discussed. It wasn’t long ago that we couldn’t discuss breast cancer, but we are now (or you better be).
Women, we have a job to do.
Our job is to help women build their own power and women’s power as a whole which will hopefully change perspectives and here is another great article from CNN, Women's Power: A story with sharp divide.
We as American voters just elected 20 women to the Senate, the largest number in history, but that just 20% of the seats. Not enough. I agree with the sentiment that it is sad that we are celebrating such a low number, but it is a start.
While I was preparing for this post I found a Facebook post from Mary Ellen Slayter that hit home and absolutely loved. It is about changing the perspective of women and empowering their image. It is about the different perspective of women in the fairy tales. It is much more light hearted then the rest of this post, but it is key. We must change the image of women at many levels. This is a great one for the early ages - Girls are Not Chicks Coloring Book.
We have a job to do and it is one of the most vital roles we can play.
About the author: Lois Melbourne, GPHR, is vice-chair to Peoplefluent, a leading social human capital management technology company. Co-founder of the global workforce planning and analytics solutions company Aquire, mom to one terrific young son and wife of co-founder Ross Melbourne, Lois maintains a strong personal commitment to career education and small business development and is a frequent speaker, author of industry articles, and an avid blogger and networker. Connect with her on Twitter as @loismelbourne.
Photo Credit: iStockphoto
Typically over the holidays I end up watching a lot of television. This time of year there are always season finales and competitions and other things to catch up on, and for me this year was no exception.
Based upon the things I saw, I’m convinced that 2013 will be the year for women.
Why? Well, because women were hugely showcased at the end of the year, in ways and in places that were surprising.
First, Alex Guarneschelli won the Next Iron Chef, Redemption competition. For those that don’t know much about the world of haute cuisine, there are few female chefs, and where women exist, they are often not at the top. But this time, the final two chefs in the competition were women, and they cooked their hearts out. The best part about the finals is that both Alex Guarneschelli and fellow finalist Amanda Freitag made it without special consideration. They made great dishes, period.
Second, the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors show performance was carried by awesome women (even though the deserving recipients were with one exception, men). Think about this. Tina Fey’s tribute to David Letterman was funny, poignant, and quintessentially spoken as a woman, even though David Letterman, by all accounts, is not. Bonnie Raitt, a trailblazer in her own right, performed Buddy Guy’s Sweet Home Chicago with a raspy finesse that only she can do. And Heart’s Ann and Nancy W
ilson, the bedrock of the women’s rock movement, belted out Stairway to Heaven in a way that not only respected Led Zeppelin but brought new significance to what is arguably the greatest rock tune ever written.
So women adding new context to the traditional; I like that. It seems a lot of other people did also.
Is this a trend? I hope so!
From a human resources perspective, I wonder what 2013 will bring for women. As barriers break and as it becomes more normal, and less novel, for women to contribute unique things to our workplaces at the highest level—all the better. We need to think about a people movement.
That said, it will be a good thing when articles and blogs like this no longer have to be written, when women’s achievements are not unique or noteworthy as a women’s achievement. Until then though, I look forward to seeing and hearing about all the occasions when women rocked it.
Here’s to 2013.
About the author: Bonni Titgemeyer is the Managing Director of The Employers’ Choice Inc. She has been in human resources for 20+ years and works in the international HR arena. She is the recipient of the 2012 Toronto Star HR Professional of the Year Award. You can connect with Bonni on Twitter as @BonniToronto, often at the hashtag #TEPHR.
Photo credit iStockphoto
It begins on Friday. “Got any plans this weekend? What are you doing? Are you going to the
big game big concert craft sale at the VFW? Will you be having a cookout party crawfish boil for the holiday weekend?”
And it ends, momentarily at least, on Monday. “How was your weekend? What did you do? Did you go anywhere? Did you do anything?”
It’s office small talk that allows people to appear somewhat interested in the lives of their fellow cubicle dwellers. More than likely, Glen in Purchasing could really care less that Carmen from Marketing is attending the Annual Furry Convention to be held in Pittsburgh (well, ok, that might intrigue him a bit…), but he feels the need to ask.
But I’ve noticed, throughout my working years, that this idle chatter can turn into yet another form of workplace one-upmanship. I’ve heard the sanctimonious inflection in a woman’s voice as she answered “I retiled the bathroom Saturday morning, applied weed-and-feed to the lawn, hosted a small gathering for 8 on Saturday night and then, after church on Sunday, tackled that smoked salmon w/ foie gras recipe I’ve been meaning to try. It was a light weekend.” And I‘ve witnessed the blank-stare and faintly disguised superiority from the questioner when someone (oh wait, that was me) answered “I did absolutely nothing.”
Perhaps it’s a cliché because it’s true when we admonish people to “take time to smell the roses.” Why must we feel the need to be doing-something-every-minute? After a busy, hectic and structured work week filled with meetings, appointments, phone calls and tasks, isn’t it just enough to stop, relax and not feel the need to DO?
In our quest to appear busy and engaged a
nd active and plugged-in we seem to have collectively embraced the viewpoint that just being in one place (i.e. HOME) for a span of time longer than it takes us to sleep and bathe is now seen as some sign of societal disengagement. Weekends spent cuddling one’s children on the couch under a comforter, reading a book for the pure enjoyment of it or even mindlessly watching VH1’s marathon of “100 One-Hit Wonders” are all perfectly acceptable ways to spend the weekend – aren’t they?
Yet, I’m convinced; we sometimes ask others how they spend their leisure time for the primary purpose of making judgments about either their lack of ambition or their lack of creativity.
Occasionally I pull my car into the garage on a Friday evening and don’t venture out beyond our property line again until Monday morning. I eat cold pizza for breakfast and cereal for dinner. I watch The Princess Diaries and Sex and the City reruns. I read Happy Hollisters books and pretend I’m in 2nd grade. I deep cleanse my pores. I take a nap in the morning and then, just for good measure, I take another one in the afternoon.
Then, come Monday morning, I go along with the small talk and ask my colleagues what they did over the weekend while I answer their queries as well.
And when I state “I did absolutely nothing” I do so with pride.
Photo credit: iStockphoto
About the author: Robin Schooling likes gadgets, coffee, wine and football and insists upon surrounding herself with people who are curious and have a desire to try new things. After 20 plus years in HR, she is fully aware that HR is fun, frustrating, rewarding, maddening and important … and she loves most-every minute of it. You can keep up with Robin at her blog HRSchoolhouse.com and on the Twitter at @RobinSchooling.
A key project has been heavy on my mind. It’s something I’ve been working on for a very long time. ‘Working’ being a generous way of describing the intent of doing something where action is clearly lacking.
A number of things have gotten in the way. It's the usual suspects – a heavy work schedule, family commitments and a general malaise from not having achieved anything substantial to date. Thinking about it at length, I realized I was battling myself on two different fronts – prioritization and procrastination.
Was I prioritizing it? No, this was clearly at the bottom of the list. I know it is important for me to accomplish but not terribly urgent given it’s a self-imposed objective. So, I let the excuses rule. Was I procrastinating? Yes. Let’s be clear about that.
That’s when it hit me that it could have been one or the other or maybe, it was both. I realized that the line between prioritizing and procrastinating was a fine one indeed. So, having spent some time distilling this myself, I’ve come to some conclusions as to how you can tell these two apart :
Are You Delaying or Arranging?
Procrastinating is dawdling, delaying or postponing. Prioritizing is arranging, itemizing or working things out. Both are intentional behaviors in the sense that it is something you do as opposed to something done to you.
It would be a lie to believe that life simply happens to you. Yes, life does happen but you have a choice as to how it happens to you. You choose what you will do. If you choose to allow things to get in the way or prevent you from the task at hand, accept that you’ve decided to do it that way instead of arguing that it was done to you.
So, what are you doing? Are you allowing this to happen to you so that you can give y
ourself an excuse to do what you want to do anyway?
Now? Or Later?
Procrastinating is putting something off for a later time and urgency is rarely the order of the day. Prioritizing is about identifying what is important to you and deciding the order in which you will give it your time or attention.
Procrastinating is about driving down to the bottom of the list what is not important to you. When you procrastinate, you may identify a relatively loose time frame to get something done and at other times, you leave the things you don’t want to deal with to a later time which usually means that they really will not get done at all.
Prioritizing is about bringing to the top of your list what is important to you. When you prioritize, you decide what gets your attention when.
When it come to procrastination and prioritization, you need to know which you are embracing and whether you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Ensure when you procrastinate that it’s because it is a lesser priority and not something you don’t want to do deal with. Ensure when you prioritize something lower down your list that it’s not because it’s something you’re procrastinating instead. Procrastinating somehow connotes that it is something you need to do, yet are failing to do. There is an element of negativity attached.
Failing to call it right will more likely have an emotional toll on you.
About the author: Rowena Morais is the Editor of HR Matters Magazine. A lawyer by training, Rowena left practice to embrace her entrepreneurial spirit and has not looked back since. She maintains a blog at Rowena Morais Posterous.
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