Monthly Archives: September 2013

Tokens

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Hello world!

I think I have to break up with Ita…Well at least we need a temporary separation, which is very difficult as I have a serious girl crush on Ita.

I have a problem with her view that we need quotas for women in corporate and political spaces. Ita recently referred to Julie Bishop as a token woman in the Liberal Party. Well she probably is, but I would also go so far as to say most politicians are tokens because they can easily be replaced if a few decide they don’t like them anymore. Just ask Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd. Yes it would be great to have more women in politics but I wonder how many real female options there were in this case. I wonder just how many women (and men for that matter) are really willing and able to do what is required to be a successful politician. Not me, that’s for sure. I can also tell you I would feel more like a token if I had gotten a job that in an organization was required to have a certain amount of females in certain positions. I think the biggest issue here is jobs for mates, and this goes on with female and male managers (I have seen both cases first hand). This leads to inferior candidates getting jobs they shouldn’t necessarily have just because they are friends with the boss, or dare I say it, suck up to the boss in the right way.

I recently read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Her view is that many women start to pull back a bit in their careers because at some stage they want to have children and may need to take a break or reduce the hours they can work. There are also the times that women don’t have the confidence to step forward and say I want this or I can do that, we think if we work hard someone will notice and promote us. When we do have a family, most women tend to take on the majority of the household running by default. So of course it is easier for men to take the higher positions if women automatically assume the role of homemaker. Whether is male or female, however, lets not forget that choosing a demanding career is not without significant sacrifice, as is choosing to be the primary caregiver. I am not saying either is right or wrong, as the important thing here is that we have the choice. We all, both men and women, need to make sure we choose a partner in the true sense of the word, or choose not to have one rather than the wrong one.

Ita herself is one of the most successful women in Australia and I don’t believe she has got where she is by being part of a quota. I believe she got there by guts, determination and being really good at what she does.

Til next time…

Jo

 

 

Why Do We Go Back?

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Hello world!

Its been a while since my first attempt at blogging, largely because of what I am going to talk about.

Having recently made the decision to go back to finish a degree, and then making the decision to stop again, it got me thinking why do we go back to things we stopped doing, or people we stopped wanting to spend time with?

I have come to the conclusion that, with the exception of some circumstances outside our control, we put a stop to these situations because they are broken and not working for us. Why then, do we think it’s ok to go back to whoever or whatever it was? I stopped studying this degree because it was not relevant to where I wanted to go in life and I really did not enjoy it. I restarted this year and it I was at a time not sure if I wanted to continue with my business. I told myself that this degree would open more doors. I ignored the little voice that said ‘you didn’t enjoy it last time, what makes it different this time?’, ‘it will be all time consuming’, ‘its not going to lead you directly anywhere’ and ‘you will feel trapped’, ‘you are not going to want to do this for the next three years’. I had stories to tell myself about each one of these to allow me to ignore them. But guess what – even after all these years I still don’t like studying for those very reasons my little voice said. So I am stopping – again. For me it’s still broken.

I convinced myself that I could handle all of the issues my little voice raised. Does that sound familiar, telling yourself “Its ok I can handle that”? Why? Why do we accept or even choose things we can ‘handle’? Why don’t we choose things we feel excite us? Is it because we think it’s too much of a risk or we will be judged? My answer is I don’t know, because it makes absolutely no sense to do those things we can handle and not those we are excited about. Especially when it is largely about what others, either people close to us or society in general, may think is acceptable or what we should do.

Sure there really are things we need to do that we may not love, but those things tend to be what we really don’t have a choice about. I am talking about doing things we do have a choice about, like this study in my case, or going back to a bad relationship (partner or friend), resigning from a position and then staying because they offer you promises of things to come. In my case the study was taking me away from what I really wanted to be doing, which is writing, because I no longer had the time or mental energy for that. Same thing when you go back to a partner you broke up with, or keep on hanging around with friends who are not good for you, it gets in the way of you finding new friends or a more suitable partner. When you go back the reason it broke in the first place is usually still there, even if it’s not so evident to start with.

Perhaps I need to give my little voice a name, maybe then I will take more notice…George, Susan?? No I think I will just call it Joanne as she is the one I need to listen to.

Til next time…

Jo