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How do you deal with this? On starting a women's group...

(7 Posts)
wickedwaterwitch Thu 03-Mar-16 18:51:54

Couple of comments:

Urgh
"Why can't we have a men's group?"
"Will you talk about knitting?"

Ffs! It's a professional group, whose aim is to engage with our organisation on gender diversity.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Thu 03-Mar-16 18:55:33

Of course you can have a men's group, feel free to go and start one.

If anyone wants to discuss knitting they can but we already have some topics lined up.

Sounds bloody annoying, good luck with it.

EdithWeston Thu 03-Mar-16 18:57:08

a) "I'm sure if you make a good case for its role and why it is needed, and offer to organise it, I'm sure the organisation would be just as supportive"
b) "no. If you think it needs discussing at work, you could put it on the agenda of your group's meeting"

If they persist:

c) stop being a twat

BarefootAcrossHotLegoPieces Thu 03-Mar-16 20:08:05

What Edith said.

EBearhug Fri 04-Mar-16 00:17:40

This is normal.
- Men expect someone else to set up a men's group for themselves (because they suffer from so much disadvantage, working in tech...) It never seems to occur to them that they can go and make their case to HR about why they need a men's group and get some funding for it.
- When told that men are welcome to join too (we have about 10% men), they express horror at the thought of being the only man in a room of women, and do not recognise the irony of this reaction, despite me pointing out that this is what it's like for me every single day of my career.
- I've also pointed out that anyone who can follow a knitting pattern could do programming, because it uses all the same logic, so it might be of use to them to take it up.
- I am also prepared to ask them what they are doing to reduce the gender inequality in the workplace, and start quoting facts and figures at them. Most of them shut up before I get started on this.

When I first got involved, my manager was told by his manager to go to HR to see how they could stop me. I think someone might have quietly told him to stop being a twat - I was a bit disappointed, because I was quite looking forward the outcome of that little argument, taking on some of the highest women in the organisation...

NeverEverAnythingEver Fri 04-Mar-16 10:24:33

What everyone said.

And "Yes, and we'll talk about mooncups too. Knitted mooncups, in fact. We would welcome a male perspective."

scallopsrgreat Fri 04-Mar-16 12:35:22

Loving the knitted mooncup suggestion grin.

"When told that men are welcome to join too (we have about 10% men), they express horror at the thought of being the only man in a room of women, and do not recognise the irony of this reaction, despite me pointing out that this is what it's like for me every single day of my career. " Can only reiterate that really. In the 14 meetings I've had this week (including an all day meeting) I've been the only woman in the room for 9 of them (including the all day one!). When they experience that type of bias then maybe I'll have some sympathy for them. (And what is so horrific about being in a roomful of women? No misogyny there then!)

In fact even in female dominated professions, men may be outnumbered shock but they still manage to rise to the top more often and more quickly.

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