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Overlooked - could this be discrimination?

(16 Posts)
ewemum Wed 21-Sep-16 20:47:19

I have worked in my current job as a vet at a local practice for over 8 years. I have been part time (20h) for the last 4 years after 2 kids. I have expressed interest in progressing at the practice to partnership on a number of occasions. The opportunity has now arisen with a senior partner retiring. A meeting was held today with the accountant and the two exciting partners and my senior colleague, and a junior colleague (4 years qualified) - all men. It was an informal meeting to discuss future partnership arrangements. I was not invited to attend and neither of my colleagues told me about it. I found out about this meeting yesterday and asked for clarification as to why I was not included in this informal meeting. I have been given no clarification, the meeting went ahead and all of the above ignored me all day.
This seems to have really upset me, I feel angry, left out and inadequate. I have 10 years experience as a vet, been in charge of marketing for the practice, developed the rota, organised numerous client evenings, turn over pro-rata more than each of full time vets (including partners), have a large client list and support and train all the new graduates coming through. I have indicated I plan to return to full time work.
I really just need to rant to get it out of my system and then I might be able to think clearly about my career strategy.

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 21-Sep-16 21:29:15

Veterinary partnership in it's traditional form is not a promotion, it is an invitation to purchase part of the business ( I know it feels like promotion). So it is subject to the whims of the partnership agreement, my current one is relatively new and has been lawyer checked.
In my agreement, for anyone to be invited into the partnership there has to be agreement of all existing partners and for one partner to sell there share to another individual the remaining partners must be all in agreement. Can you think if there could be reasons for one partner being less interested?
Secondly our current partnership agreement and it was only drawn up this year has no rooms for part time partners, the only capacity is full time full equity partners, could thus be a stumbling
Things to think about a partnership is like a marriage ( well more difficult actually as individual often have wildly different objectives), I have had to compromise in previous partnerships and almost certainly will have to compromise in the future.
I suspect the long and short of it regardless of why they have not offered it to you, they do not have to sell a portion of the business to someone they don't want to.

daisychain01 Thu 22-Sep-16 13:46:59

Irrespective of the partnership and legal aspects of your circumstances, I'm really sorry on your behalf for the way they have treated you ewemum, I'm not surprised you're upset! X

ewemum Thu 22-Sep-16 18:44:40

Thanks daisychain01 . I still haven't any clarification from them . But I have been asked if I don't mind being filmed for a documentary tomorrow while I am operating - the cheek!

daisychain01 Thu 22-Sep-16 20:11:45

Sounds like you have a lot to be proud of and have achieved a lot over the past 10 years.

Depending on how much this is getting you down, can you keep going for the time being until you return ft and see if you can find the right time for a frank conversation.

DPotter Thu 22-Sep-16 20:28:43

You have a lot of achievements under you belt - Can you leave and take your clients with you ? or at least 'let it be known' that's what you're thinking about. Let it slip you're going to look at 'premises', ask support staff if they are looking for new opportunities that sort of thing. For whatever reason (gender, eye colour, tea drinker rather than coffee) you're face may not fit and they don't see you as partner material. Is there another practice locally you could chat up ? Sometimes people get too comfortable in a role as do the employers and they have no intention of promoting. You have to balance off convenience now and reduced opportunities or radical change now.

ewemum Thu 22-Sep-16 22:15:35

Thank you for your replies. I think I am mainly upset about not being given the chance to explore the opportunity of partnership possibilities, yet two others have been, both who joined the practice after me. Whether I was offered partnership when the time comes in irrelevant but I should be given equal opportunity to explore the possibility, including being involved in this informal meeting with the accountants to find out about the finances involved.

DiegeticMuch Thu 22-Sep-16 23:06:30

So sorry you've been treated like this.

I'd go elsewhere with my client list.

daisychain01 Sat 24-Sep-16 08:35:50

I think I'd be inclined not to burn any bridges until they've been given a reasonable opportunity to explain the situation. Even then, leaving and trying to take clients from the Practice isn't exactly the most ethical way of handling the situation even if they bloody well deserve it ! Unless of course each person's clients contractually belong to those individuals.

stouensbay Sat 24-Sep-16 08:42:58

I was treated a bit like this in a different professional discipline. Part time in a team full of men. I was working with a client and they all went out to lunch with said client, I was not invited. I didn't raise it at the time but I wish I had. So at least you've raised it. I would start looking elsewhere. I was eventually made redundant (not just me) when heavily pregnant with no. 2. I wish I had just left before it had got to that stage. Yes, I think it is discrimination but you will not be able to prove it. Good luck.

HereIAm20 Thu 29-Sep-16 19:19:18

I would say yes I'll do the documentary and I will explain whilst operating my ambitions to be a partner within the firm and how difficult it is as a woman within a practice to be taken seriously.

StealthPolarBear Thu 29-Sep-16 19:23:48

Brilliant idea here grin
It sounds awful op and highlights that this stuff still goes on. I live in a little public sector bubble.

ewemum Thu 29-Sep-16 20:21:03

So never got a reply to my email. I had my monthly training meeting with practice manager and the partner who is not retiring. He said he didn't get my email, thank fully the manager relied yes you did, I gave it to you in person. He moved the conversation on quickly and basically just like lonekitten implies, said he didn't want to go in to partnership with me - because on a few occasions I had a differing opinion to him. I asked why a younger colleague with half my experience had been given the opportunity to explore partnership, he remained silent and replied ' because he has an energy of youth' ( he is only 5 years younger than me!) oh and wrote the rota ( didn't stoop to reminding him, that I devised and wrote up the rota, and my colleague finalised it by filling in the names.).
Anyway at the end he said , perhaps I need to rethink, let's meet again and discuss in 2 weeks. He did apologise for not telling me what was going on before having meetings with accountants etc.
The long and short of it is that the practice has a lot of missed potential and I would like to be part of a team that realises that as have ideas etc. If partnership was just me and him - no, I wouldn't go for it, but if he is looking to take on more partners then yes I want to have the opportunity to be part of that team. To note the practice employs 35 people, there are 4 males in the practice, 2 are current partners and the other 2 in negotiations!

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 29-Sep-16 20:51:31

Ewe I know you really want a partnership, by think long hard about going into partnership who has reservations this early. A partnership is like a marriage, but harder as all the partners have different objectives. You will often need to compromise, in this situation I think you could end with a partner who will not compromise ever and you will always compromise ending up frustrated,
When I first purchased my partnership my new partner had been in just such a partnership with someone who had just said No, no computers, no new equipment, no modernisation. We worked well together for 7 years and dramatically increased the profitability of the practice.
My new partner has new different ideas to me and I accept that I will compromise on some occasions and he will on others. We work well and have similar outlook for the practice.

anotherdayanothersquabble Thu 29-Sep-16 21:31:33

How much do you want it? And if you don't get it, can you walk away?

Grab yourself a mentor (lonecat maybe) and pitch for the partnership.

HereIAm20 Thu 29-Sep-16 21:54:23

Approach a rival partnership with a view to going in as partner. I suspect they'll then fight to keep you.

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