You know that saying, if I had a pound for every time I have been called X, then I would be a millionaire – well this is mostly true for me (although I exaggerate slightly with a million!) when it comes to being labelled ‘sexist’.
Last week HER Business Revolution received an email from a man in response to searching for another surprise act for this year’s HER Conference to say that we were undermining what him and his team does and wouldn’t want to be associated with such a ‘sexist’ event as the conference (of which we just thanked him for his feedback, in a polite F-off- kinda-style!)
In the words of Miss Arianna Grande “Thank you, next”.
Anyway, this got me thinking of how many times I have been labelled this since launching the women’s network back in 2015, and I realised that the amount of times men have made this assumption of me, because I stand up for women’s empowerment and want to see womenkind prosper, is an unbelievable number, with this accusation usually being used as a response from a man who doesn’t like the answer or information he has been given by me.
Back in college I was once accused of being racist because I didn’t believe in the argument a fellow class member was presenting, and my response was “I suppose you are going to say I’m sexist as well because you are a man”
You see, pulling the race or sexist card when you don’t agree with what the other party is saying is not acceptable (quite frankly it’s a load of BS) and putting someone in a box, without having any knowledge of what they are all about and why they do or feel how they do is just plain nieve.
When I’m given this label my response is always the same:
– please don’t judge me on face value and get to know me and my purpose
– if there wasn’t a need for women’s only networking and empowerment events then the business wouldn’t still be running after 4 years
– it has been proven that men and women conduct business differently in general – this is not a huge surprise!
– we include men in lots of ways and run mixed events too
– a few brave men will be attending this year’s HER Conference, and that’s all cool with me as they are generally interested in what it’s all about and what’s going on on the day
– I also own Glow Virtual Assistants and have worked with thousands of male clients, supporting their businesses to shine, and we provide them with the same service as our female clients (as they are all people and all equally awesome!)
– many other businesses have specific niches and target audiences, but that doesn’t mean that they are sexist, racist, against any religious group, or similar, it just means they focus on serving one type of customer (which makes total business sense as we can’t please everyone!)
So, why do I want to empower working women?
Let’s look at the stats…
Last year the United Kingdom’s total population was estimated to be 65,648,100, with almost 50% being female, and over 70% of those women aged 16–64 in employment.
The gender pay gap for full- and part-time workers combined in the United Kingdom was approximately 18.4% —meaning that women made approximately 80% of men’s median hourly wages.
The percentage of women in senior leadership roles remained low at 22%, and only 36% of legislators, senior officials, and managers are women.
Bearing in mind that we are in the 21st century (so not cave people!) and that half of the population is female, these figures just don’t stack up (even with the fact that women usually take on the childcare responsibilities).
So, if you jump to conclusions about me without getting to know the truth, before reaching like a pitbull who has had their bone taken away, it might be worth coming down from your high horse and asking yourself, “who is the one really being sexist in this situation?”
I hope this is shown you ‘sexism’ in a different light,