I hope this wasn't a stupid thing to do!

(142 Posts)
CaptainWentworth Mon 04-Apr-16 10:48:55

I've just impulsively done something which I'm now having a bit of a wibble about.

Had an email round all the regional offices of my firm this morning, from the Regional Chairman, to let us know about some recent promotions to partner. As usual they were both men, and for some reason I was moved to send the following reply (only to him, not everyone!)

Hi X,

Congratulations to Y and Z.

I may be wrong, but (from a glance at the public web pages for each office) I think the new promotions will make 24 male partners in the region to one female. I’d be so pleased if that ratio improved in the future; I’m sure there can’t be such a lack of talented senior women in the firm.

Apologies if that sounds impertinent; I don’t mean to be – it’s just that the discrepancy struck me quite forcibly.

Kind regards,

Have I just made a complete wally of myself/ labelled myself as a troublemaker? I'm a pretty junior minion around these parts so it's not like he will have any idea who I am- but he's prob thinking wtf! blush

Floggingmolly Mon 04-Apr-16 10:52:31

If you really are as junior as you say, you've probably over stepped the mark hugely... You may have had a fair point, but it's unlikely to have been news to him and I doubt he'll take kindly to hearing it from you.

FiveSixPickUpSticks Mon 04-Apr-16 10:55:17

I agree with Flogging.

You have no idea the credentials of those that have been promoted or of anyone else that may have been interviewed.

Hugely overstepped the mark.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 04-Apr-16 10:55:17

Yes you have made a wally of yourself and labelled yourself as a troublemaker.

You've also insulted the female senior members of staff who are quiet capable of fighting their own corners and don't need a junior to do it for them.

blaeberry Mon 04-Apr-16 10:55:58

You tell him!!

However, you might also consider emailing some recruitment agencies.

MatildaBeetham Mon 04-Apr-16 10:56:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LottieDoubtie Mon 04-Apr-16 10:59:20

Brave but probably stupid too!

His reaction will tell you all you need to know about the company. Perhaps start job hunting quietly?

hesterton Mon 04-Apr-16 10:59:37

Needed saying. You may have caused a stir but you were polite and not hectoring. How is responds is indicative of the type of person he is - a decent boss would sent a polite email back explaining that he recognises the discrepancy and looks forward to redressing the balance but has no issue with the firm's recruitment policy and actions currently with regard to equal opportunities.

CaptainWentworth Mon 04-Apr-16 11:00:52

Oops. blush blush

Oh well it's done now. Perhaps his PA will weed it out before he sees it....

Of course the people will have been promoted on merit; I certainly didn't mean to suggest otherwise. Oh dear sad

PerspicaciaTick Mon 04-Apr-16 11:01:21

I think you handled that very well - the email is well written and polite. Well done.

Honestly, most people I've worked for rather enjoy it when someone sticks their head over the parapet and says something which (although challenging) is pertinent and well-presented. You don't get to be a big boss by shutting down discussion - that is the way to end up with a stagnant business.

MatildaBeetham Mon 04-Apr-16 11:01:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WomanWithAltitude Mon 04-Apr-16 11:02:31

It's brave, and depending on the culture in your company (which you know better than us) it could be risk, but your email was polite and reasonable. If more people spoke up like this (and felt empowered to do so) I think it would be a good thing.

Good for you, in short.

WomanWithAltitude Mon 04-Apr-16 11:05:57

And your email definitely doesn't suggest that the recent promotions weren't based on merit.

I have said similar at work when we are recruiting directors (I am actively involved in the recruitment), and it's not been viewed as inappropriate. And I wouldn't be offered to see that email either.

FiveSixPickUpSticks Mon 04-Apr-16 11:06:34

Of course the people will have been promoted on merit; I certainly didn't mean to suggest otherwise

Well what else did you mean? You say you want the ratio improved in the future. It looks as if you are saying no matter who may be the best person for the job, they should promote women.

WomanWithAltitude Mon 04-Apr-16 11:07:38

^ offended, not offered

CaptainWentworth Mon 04-Apr-16 11:08:34

I suppose I want the senior people to consider how things look to others lower down the ladder- they are saying the right things in general about equality but it feels like lip service if nothing ever changes. I mean I can't imagine having a baby in this job- I can't see how I would do it. Having a bit of a dilemma about that at the moment really. Maybe that's why I had this reaction.

I'm junior management so not the most miniony person around, but it's a big company and he's not based in my office.

PerspicaciaTick Mon 04-Apr-16 11:09:24

Of course she isn't suggesting that the men weren't promoted on merit. She is just highlighting the lack of women and throwing it over to X to think about ways of addressing the balance. She isn't saying she wants it fixed tomorrow, but is implying that the firm needs to think if it should be doing something different to get it's senior women to the point where they become the best candidates (at least some of the time).

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Mon 04-Apr-16 11:09:59

I think it's fantastic that you did it. It was polite and raised a valid point. So if anyone higher-up takes issue, it would speak volumes as to the actual attitude of higher management regarding equality. These things needs to be flagged loudly and often! Well done you!

MatildaBeetham Mon 04-Apr-16 11:10:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MatildaBeetham Mon 04-Apr-16 11:10:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CaptainWentworth Mon 04-Apr-16 11:11:42

FiveSix you're putting words in my mouth- all I wanted to do was to point out the ratio.

Maybe women aren't applying for promotions; maybe they don't feel able to ask for the additional experience that would make them the best qualified person for the job? (for example)

WomanWithAltitude Mon 04-Apr-16 11:11:49

Of course she isn't. There is a host of evidence that the barriers to women (and other groups) gaining senior positions go way beyond 'merit' and most people, particularly those intelligent enough to be that senior, are aware of that.

Floggingmolly Mon 04-Apr-16 11:13:06

Of course op suggested the promotions weren't based on merit confused
I'm sure there can't be such a lack of talented senior women in the firm suggests that said women were overlooked because they're... women.
I seriously doubt the big boss will "open up a discussion" with a self proclaimed junior minion on the subject either hmm

SeraOfeliaFalfurrias Mon 04-Apr-16 11:13:50

If you do a little research, FiveSixPickUpSticks, it has been shown that when presented with otherwise identical CVs, most recruitment panels will consider that the one with the male name at the top is the better-qualified, due to nothing less than unconscious bias. So it is simple fact that women do not get an equal chance of promotion based on skills - men are at an advantage. So if employers are put in conscience mind that more women should be getting promotions, there is a higher chance that this imbalance might be addressed.

FiveSixPickUpSticks Mon 04-Apr-16 11:15:18

No need to be so patronising Sera You have no idea as to what it is I do for a living.

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