Today I visited North Sydney for a work event and was taken back in time when I visited an old workplace.
It had always been a very male dominated work place (in the publishing industry) and from the lack of females there, it seems it still is.
Being the only female and most qualified person in the production team, I was often humiliated when I was asked to fetch coffee for visiting clients. I was grossly underpaid, over worked and would go home crying often. The whole environment was very stressful and unrewarding.
Today as I sat in the managing director’s office having a chat (I was warned he was on a bad mood before going in), I wondered what my life would be like had I stayed there.
If I had decided to have children I would have had to resign or come back to work after a short period of unpaid leave. I would not be afforded flexibility in my work arrangements and I would not have any compassion when having to take weeks off work for a sick child.
All this was going through my head as we exchanged pleasantries, then he thought he’d ask me (always thinking of his business and how he can exploit people) if I had any ‘spare’ time to do extra design work. I felt like laughing at him and telling him that I wouldn’t work for him even if he made me a partner in the company.
Business people (particularly men) like him can’t see the need for work/life balance. Even if he did, he would still trade it off for profits.
So why on earth would I visit if this was the very place that made me vow to work in the public sector? Well my dear friend Zav who I have kept in contact with all these years is my only reason. Seeing him and having a chat and a coffee made it worth all the ill feeling and contempt I feel for the place!!