Monday, January 5, 2009

Women in workforce

Milica on the 9-5 lifestyle:

There are cases pro and con women in business and esp technology, medical and law - professions that earn good money and/or have a certain "power".

That's normal - those who have power want to keep it, and those who don't, want to get in the door.

In general, we want the pro-women attitude. Actually, to be more specific:

what we want is PRO-COMPETENCY attitude, regardless of who that is - they could be any gender, race, etc.

Also, we want to change the attitude too. If "being dedicated to one's career" means slaving away 80hrs per week in some office, going mandatory golfing/whatever afterwards and on weekends, and commuting 2 hrs to work, then no thanks. "Career oriented" is just a buzz word to brainwash people into working long hours for someone else.

I still want to have some evenings at home with my family and I still want some hobbies and exercise. I want to work 40 hrs per week. And I'd like to work, not spend time chatting politics and other nonsense. I want to work and go home and have my own time and freedom. That's the career that I would consider desirable.

If women are not going to get gray hairs sitting in that office for 80hrs per week and doing politics and going to play golf etc afterwards, then they are quite normal, honestly. The men who are doing that are quite abnormal, imo. They are getting heart attacks for the corporate sake.

I actually DO want to work 60 – 80 hour weeks – because I WANT to and NOT because I feel like I HAVE to. I want the 40 hours of base requirement to be fairly regularly scheduled so that I can also have other activities that I am committed to, whether they include hobbies, exercise, organizations, classes, or my favorite sit –com (don’t have one for real) followed by a nice bubble-bath (do take those for real). The remaining hours should be simply because there are extra things I want to do or learn about at work because I am excited by what I do. Actually, my current situation fills that pretty well most of the time. What a nice thing to realize!

Response from Milica:
Congrats if you found the job that is so interesting that it fills in your time to your satisfaction for 60-80hrs per week, and seems like, pays well too.

A lot of people do those long hours but without really being enthused about it. That's why office workers talk about "sneaking out of the office at 6pm without feeling guilty and condemnde by others."

My point was that today "career" means HAVING TO work long hours 80hr per week, and then going golfing/drinking/whatever aferwards; (often, too, business travel, and almost no maternity time.)
For example, my old company required us to play tv rugby (or however it is called) on Saturdays, to "bond" us employees. Yuck.

So, the point I was making is this definition of "career" is pretty lopsided.

No offense, but if someone doesn't have a personal life, they are not the most creative and common-sense, practical real life worker. Also, as a human being, if they don't have a life, they are unbalanced. Also, their family life and kids are going to suffer. Families and other "love" relationships, esp. kids, do require spending time together, no questions about it. The old image of daddy coming home late tired is just not a good image for the daddy concept. If now mommy starts coming home late too, and tired, then - say hi to the drugs, teenage pregnancies, divorces, and a lot of unhappy kids and their teachers. We already live that reality today.

On the other side, not having extra obligations, like family, leaves one extra time - so if one is happy to work, why not.
Also, being truly exceptional DOES require "100hrs" per week, it is not possible to become an Olympic athlete or a CEO if you are working 40hrs and going home afterwards and never traveling and never going on maternity leave.
However - it should be the choice of those who are INTERESTED in having this lifestyle.

So, where does it leave a woman in technology is a good question. Having these "ideals" of what "career" should be like is just getting obsolete, imo. Our unconscious images of "career" are images of tired gray-haired men coming home late.

We should be able to make our own images and lifes, so that everyone can contribute how they can and want.

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