Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sexism in life/business and recruitment advertising

Going a bit off piste today but prompted by a great supplier and friend of the business not getting a job she quite clearly merited. Also this comes from a perspective as a father of 3 girls (and 1 boy) who i want to have dazzling careers as prime minister, rock star and curer of cancer (that's just the eldest one).

Here are the subtle reasons why business/career progression is sexist and in this diatribe i will ignore sexist twats or organisations (these will always exist so just avoid if at all possible) - 

1. Women actually have the babies - I told you it was subtle. In my mildly successful corporate career, i bumped along with a couple of promotions and reached Deputy/Assistant to Head of Regional Sales (or similar middle mgmt plateau) I worked in a business that was pretty much 50/50 women and men. and my competition for progression  and bosses were a lot of bright talented women. Guess what - my competition/bosses started disappearing to have babies, spending a year out, coming back part time. Suddenly within a year i got 2 step ups and my dream job (a bad dream i soon learnt). So when you are around 30ish in media - an averagely talented man can progress at a faster rate than a super talented mother.

Solution to this....i have no idea. I do know that life for a career oriented woman who wants to be a great parent is infinitely more conflicted and imperfect than for most dads.

2. Attitude to hands on Dads and hands on Mums. I have the great fortune to run my own business and this gives me a certain freedom so i have always picked up my eldest from school at least 1 day a week, and try to attend as many guitar concerts/nativity/cheerleading shows etc as possible. (ooh... aren't i great!). So i have left plenty of meetings early and stated i have to pick up my girls. The reaction to that tends to be overwhelmingly positive and unstated thoughts that its good to see a father being so hands on, how very modern (yes much of this may be just in my head). But my female friends tell me when they have to do similar exits, blow outs of meetings due to child sickness etc that there is a similar unstated thought process from bosses/clients. That thought process is "she does not take her career seriously enough" "she is not disappearing off again, is she..." "can't have someone who is not 100% committed for the big job".

Solution to this....i have no idea. Maybe another 1000 years of evolution

3. Seeing into the future. Probably the biggest handicap is the interviewer or boss or organisation looking ahead and anticipating all the factors above and not even giving people the chance. Now we know that is immoral/illegal but you can bet your arse it happens. Looking at 30 year newly married woman and thinking "well this is bound to happen..." instead "i will give the job to the 30 year old bloke who reminds me a bit of me"

Solution - another 1000 years

So - all problems - no solutions...reminds me of the meeting i had last week.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Service, Platforms and Enemies

Updates Updates

- Spring is in the air or is it "Winter is Coming". Without wishing to rehash various twitter debates i have had recently, i take the view that things are moving and getter better economically. A business like ours is not a bad bellwether for business - we deal with huge corps across multi sectors (Tesco, Cisco, Pizza Express, Anglian Home Improvements, Odgers/Berwick Partners etc) and they all are more active (with us anyway). So business will be booming from here....probably.....maybe.

- Expanding head count and recruiting someone for account manager. Its quite tough as at this level i know what good feels like but i dont what good looks like on a CV. The good news is the team have now removed me from process (but it's still my decision, right?)

- I headed this blog up service and platforms. As my view is that OME used to be a digital rec ad agency now we are a recruitment ad agency and that work can be social, mobile, telepathy or whatever's next. It will always be about understanding the market, media, clients and industry and how to practically apply to maximum effect. And then retain a fantastic service ethic. So if i were being a bit of an arse i would say we were platform neutral, media neutral and client centric (i feel a bit sick). More plain speaking way of saying this is that we guide our clients through the complex fast changing world of candidate attraction and engagement (no, still feel a bit sick)

- By popular demand - we re-introduced the OME Enemies book this year. Within its pages lurk our sworn enemies who we will exact blood curdling vengeance on. As i leaf through it - it appears to have only 4 names in it - the major crimes being rudeness on phone, and never coming back on time (maybe the vengeance should not be quite so blood curdling)

And finally 4 weeks to go - to get OME site live by end of Q1........

its not going to happen is it.