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To be asked to take minutes?

(276 Posts)
Bottlesoflove Wed 19-Apr-17 09:09:23

I went to a monthly meeting I had not attended before, I am in a professional role and I work in a team of three, with two other male colleagues (all of the same "rank"). All three of us were there. My boss said the secretary couldn't come so could I take minutes? I had never been to one of these meetings before so not aware of the "format" they usually take, plus I have never taken minutes before, plus I didn't know the names of many of the people in the room... so I said "oh I don't know, not sure I would do a great job, maybe x or y could do it?" (My two other male colleagues - both been in the job slightly longer and would have attended this meeting before). At which point my boss said begrudgingly "don't worry I'll do it" and made me feel bad for making a senior do it. My two male colleagues just sat there.

Am I reading too much into this, or is there a hint of everyday sexism here? I was one of the only females there. It seemed he would rather make a big point of doing it himself than asking another professional male to do it, even though they were junior to him...🤔

CaptainBraandPants Wed 19-Apr-17 09:10:43

Yep. everyday sexism at it's finest.

jaffajiffy Wed 19-Apr-17 09:11:32

Yep sexist.

LizzieMacQueen Wed 19-Apr-17 09:11:50

Are you sure he hadn't asked your male colleagues before you entered the room?

CoraPirbright Wed 19-Apr-17 09:13:18

Not a hint of everyday sexism, a large dollop!!

StealthPolarBear Wed 19-Apr-17 09:14:50

Yes I'd assume sexism

Bottlesoflove Wed 19-Apr-17 09:15:50

We arrived together. All sat within close vicinity. He made me feel stupid and a bit subordinate for not conforming to his request, but I know about as much as taking minutes as they do, seeing as I have never been a secretary. Also seeing as I had never attended this meeting before, I had no idea about what types of things were usually on the agenda etc.

putdownyourphone Wed 19-Apr-17 09:16:12

Wow - very very sexist. Well done for saying no!

Batgirlspants Wed 19-Apr-17 09:16:25

Yes and giving you more work as editing and producing minutes and actions takes time.

Bloody cheek.

StealthPolarBear Wed 19-Apr-17 09:16:40

But you're woman. It's one of those skills were just born with

Batgirlspants Wed 19-Apr-17 09:16:57

Yes and giving you more work as editing and producing minutes and actions takes time.

Bloody cheek.

Sallygoroundthemoon Wed 19-Apr-17 09:19:45

Yes sexist. Well done for saying no. I used to be the only senior woman around the board table in my previous career and it was always expected that I would take the minutes. In the end, I brought a more junior male member of my team in to do it.

Bottlesoflove Wed 19-Apr-17 09:20:15

Glad it's not just me! Was expecting to be flamed...

Fucked me off actually, as he asked me in front of everyone. Bet they all thought I'd just done it to be cheeky, but I genuinely thought one of the other two would be in a better position to know what they were doing.

LizzieMacQueen Wed 19-Apr-17 09:22:29

I'm guessing you are either an accountant or a lawyer?

Jog22 Wed 19-Apr-17 09:23:21

Also your attention will be on noting down what others are saying instead of speaking yourself. Another win win for the men.

OvertiredandConfused Wed 19-Apr-17 09:25:28

If I am the only woman attending a meeting with a group of people for the first time I won't take minutes or serve drinks. Usually I'm very happy to muck in with stuff like this but only once everyone's roles are established and I know my professionalism is respected as much as everyone else.

I was given this advice by a senior (male) manager when in my early 20s. I'm now late 40s and it has stood me in good stead. I share it often with younger colleagues.

user1491572121 Wed 19-Apr-17 09:28:49

Ooh I am SO happy you said no! What a load of shite...to ask you by default!

Bottlesoflove Wed 19-Apr-17 09:29:59

I am a doctor. So even less accustomed to corporate/business settings. Minute taking is not a skill we are taught at medical school unfortunately. On the rare occasions I attend "meetings" I do it begrudgingly in the vague hope I can raise/discuss clinical/patient centred issues rather than hone my secretarial skills! 😉

MrsTwix Wed 19-Apr-17 09:31:03

Well done.

Bottlesoflove Wed 19-Apr-17 09:31:04

Plus my handwriting is fucking awful so I wouldn't have been able to read my own notes after anyway...😂

engineersthumb Wed 19-Apr-17 09:32:17

I do think think it was necessarily sexist though in full context it may have been. Your boss was probably embarrassed and worried two of his staff would refuse. I've been in a similar situation, reasonably senior role, new to company and asked to take minutes at a large meeting. I introduced myself explaining I was new and asked to go around the table for introductions/names. Never mind hopefully it was a bump in the road and you will be enjoying your new job soon.

sueelleker Wed 19-Apr-17 09:32:30

Surprised he didn't ask you to make the tea as well.

stonecircle Wed 19-Apr-17 09:34:32

Sexism aside it's just not practical for someone who is participating in a meeting to take the minutes!

FurryLittleTwerp Wed 19-Apr-17 09:35:13

I once had an awful manager that used to record meetings & then type up the minutes herself. She used to put a device in the middle of the table - certainly killed any chit-chat!

She reminded me of Dolores Umbridge.

Obsidian77 Wed 19-Apr-17 09:37:40

You were absolutely right, in that you couldn't have performed the task effectively if it was the first time you had been to the meeting.
It was your boss's responsibility to organise secretarial cover and I don't see a problem with him/her having to take the notes.
Well done for saying no, I always sigh inwardly when I read threads like this where the op says she did take notes/pour coffee and AIBU to be fuming?

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