Why am I so annoyed that the school has put 'Mum's networking evening' and 'Dad's networking evening' on the spring calendar? Does it matter or am I being picky?

(29 Posts)
AuntLucyInPeru Sun 03-Feb-13 18:20:28

This is a school where only about 10% of the mums work by the way (me included)..

seeker Sun 03-Feb-13 18:22:11

I think I'd need more information before I decided whether I was outraged or not!

What's a networking evening and why are you annoyed?

dizzy77 Sun 03-Feb-13 18:24:47

It raises my hackles but I can sort of see the point. Presumably to help those of parents/carers of matching sex get to meet & get to know each other for mutual support and friendship. If the evenings are designed around, say, needlework and football respectively, I may feel I have more right to get annoyed.

happyAvocado Sun 03-Feb-13 18:26:36

I think it's nice of school ko encourage mums or dads who are working to meet people in the same situation.
I wish mine did , however of all mums working I was perhaps in 5% minority of those with full-time job ;)

Horopu Sun 03-Feb-13 18:26:56

Well the apostrophes would annoy me for a start.

AuntLucyInPeru Sun 03-Feb-13 18:34:32

The crap apostrophes are me - sorry hmm.

I'm not sure why I'm irritated either, but I am. Maybe I'm seeing an implicit assumption (prob depressingly true in this case) that the women will all be talking about children, Pilates and shoes, and that manly ears should be protected from such twaddle by having their own event (where doubtless they'll all swap masters-of-the-universe stories about their wbanking careers).

Ignore me. I'm clearly in a picky mood tonight and shouldn't go to either event...

AmandaPayne Sun 03-Feb-13 18:35:55

Yes, this would annoy me. I am not working at present, but why on earth would I want to prioritise networking with someone of the same gender as me over and above broadening the chance of networking with someone potentially directly useful to me.

Also, if fewer mothers work at your school, you are giving the women a smaller pool to network in. The men will be further advantaged in the workplace (assuming proportionately equal participation) by having a broader networking spread.

Finally, the thing that annoyed me at my old work (where we were at least all in the same industry, so point one didn't apply as much) is that networking for women was all about work life balance and how women could succeed. We need to stop seeing those as women's issues. Because a big part of the equation is men not putting up with the status quo so that all employees are demanding work/life balance and flexibility.

BertieBotts Sun 03-Feb-13 18:36:39

Maybe they're worried that if they have a mixed sex one some parents will use it for some extra-marital "networking" and they'll have a scandal on their hands? grin

AmandaPayne Sun 03-Feb-13 18:36:52

Cross posted.

NO NO NO. It's not picky. It's right.

Horopu Sun 03-Feb-13 18:39:09

I'm sorry OP, I've getting ready for school (teacher) and getting into the swing of marking!

It would really irritate me too - I'd want to ask what the thinking was behind it but would be too scared of making a fuss to actually do it!

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Feb-13 18:52:51

I can see the point of it although calling it a networking event is maybe a bad idea.

About once a term or so one of the Mums from Ds's class organises a Mums night out. It isn't a joint parent thing, because that would require babysitters.
We certainly don't spend the evening discussing the DCs, mostly we drink wine and talk about what races we are planning to run in ( or maybe that's just me). I guess we could change it to a "parent" meet up, but you know what I enjoy meeting the mums, we are the ones who do most of the social organisation for the DCs ( although I agree that it should be more equally divided) therefore it makes sense to build up a network.

It would be good if the Dads could meet up but they don't seem to be as organised. One of the older classes arranged a Dads and daughters camping trip. I think thats a fabulous idea.

Feel free to slate me- I usually do get in trouble when I wander into the Feminism board.

AmandaPayne Sun 03-Feb-13 18:56:07

I'm not going to slate you, but I think an informal social event organised between parents is rather different to a 'networking' event. I wouldn't have any problem with a group of mums deciding amongst themselves to have a mums' night out.

The implication from the OPs post is that this is a career thing. If so, why not simply organise two nights, so that parents who both wan to attend and have babysitting issues can go to one each. I don't think that particularly a school should be segregating careers by sex.

kim147 Sun 03-Feb-13 19:01:04

"It would be good if the Dads could meet up but they don't seem to be as organised. One of the older classes arranged a Dads and daughters camping trip. I think thats a fabulous idea."

That's a really interesting point. It's one thing I noticed on holiday. You see a lot of mums out in the day time - with other mums at cafes, soft play centres - anything where parents and children go. I'm guessing it's those mums who are employed part time and those who are SAHMs who have the opportunity and take the opportunity to plan things. It must be great to have the opportunity to talk to other parents.

I never see 2 Dads out - or even a mum and a dad (who were not together). It was holidays so there were Dads out with their children but not pairs out. Presumably because of work commitments.

I do think Dads do miss out on this and the communication with other parents that the school gate and the option to plan meet ups during the day with DCs some mums have.

Maybe it's not being as organised - but it's also just the day to day contact with other school Dads that Dads don't really have.

(Nor do those mums who work full time)

That said - I can see that if it was a mixed meet up, someone would have to babysit.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 03-Feb-13 19:05:34

I suspect that it is more to do with trying to get both parents to show an interest than anything else.

Booyhoo Sun 03-Feb-13 19:07:20

yes would piss me off too.

what has stopped them just having a parents networking evening and then anyone who fancies it can go, whether male or female? or cant men and women share interests? hmm

AuntLucyInPeru Sun 03-Feb-13 19:10:57

It is a career thing rather than a social things. There are class-level and school-level social events most terms, which are not segregated by gender.

Interestingly, only mums are invited to the parents association daytime meetings (although I provided both parents' email addresses to the class rep when asked..)

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sun 03-Feb-13 19:12:06

I suspect they are trying to encourage more dads to interact with the school, which can only be a good thing?

My DH is a SAHP and he would love the opportunity to meet more dads, although he likes spending time with the mums too.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Feb-13 19:17:31

Now that daytime meeting invite to mums only thing would wind me up mightily AuntLucy.

I guess my experience is that its harder to get the Dads involved in school type activities or socialising with other parents. Now this could be because of not being at the school gate - but a few of the Mums that come to to the nights out work f/t and don't mingle at school gates because of early drop offs and late pick ups so I don't think its specifically that.

I'd be very keen for DH to take a more active role with the other Dads or indeed any other parents, so I'd see this event as a way that they are trying to get Dads to do that.

I guess they could have had two mixed sex events and made it clear it was open to either parent but perhaps they thought it would lead to an inbalance in attendance.

I think it's great that they organised it.

Booyhoo Sun 03-Feb-13 19:20:14

oh so it's definitely a career thing? in that case i really dont understand the segregation by gender. surely there are lots of parents of both genders in similar fields of work that would benefit from more contacts? i find it really odd that they have done that.

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 03-Feb-13 19:25:43

Sorry didn't read your update properly. If its definitely about careers then that is a little odd. Seems strange that your school is involved in career networking events in any case.

coldcupoftea Sun 03-Feb-13 19:33:00

A school I drive past on the way to work recently had huge signs up for a 'mums pampering and shopping evening' fundraising event.

They have now replaced it with a sign for their latest event- a 'sportsman's dinner' with football/rugby players as guest speakers- clearly aimed at the dads.

Gets my hackle up every time I drive past!

LineRunner Sun 03-Feb-13 20:24:53

Gender-segregated career networking evenings organised by a school?

I could write a small treatise or simply say what a load of old shite. Is this what they want the kids to see and absorb?

AuntLucyInPeru Sun 03-Feb-13 20:40:35

Ok, so not just me then grin

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Sun 03-Feb-13 20:55:16

Ok, I get it now. YADNBU.

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