You are a Human Resources Feminist

I like to tell my HR friends that they are feminists. They believe in equality between men and women. They believe in fairness. They teach classes on diversity and inclusion, they work for equitable compensation systems, and they believe in protecting women — and really, everyone — against discrimination.

They are all feminists.

I often hear, “Laurie, I’m not a feminist. I am not political. I don’t believe in labels.”

So let me take a step back.

We love labels in HR. We classify jobs, we label performance, and we love acronyms. If there’s a project task force that needs a name, we’re on it. And if there is someone at work who is using a name unfairly or inaccurately, we correct him or her.

So I’m here to tell you that you are a feminist. Human Resources, with its history in unions and health care and money, is inherently feminist. We are the gatekeepers of justice, of fairness, and of worker safety. While we are advocates of profitability, we are also the conscious of senior management. We have a reputation of saying no to everything, but all know that’s not true. We say no to stupid people who don’t think the rules apply to them.

You can still like men. You don’t have to be a radical activist. And I certainly hope you don’t burn your bra. But you are a feminist and you should be be proud of it.

When you claim the name, you define it on your terms. And who better to be a picture of feminism than you?

About the Author

Laurie Ruettimann


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