What’s your first thought?

“I wont be able to join the meeting/call at that time, since I have to pick up my kid from school/daycare”.

Picture a guy at work saying this. You know nothing else about this guy. What’s your first thought?

 Oh, ok. How sweet. He helps his wife take care of the kid. What a devoted father.

Now picture a woman at work saying this. You know nothing else about this woman. What’s your first thought?

 Oh, yes of course. She always puts family first. When/how does she expect the work to get done.

Do you think like that? Come on, own up. What’s honestly the first thought that comes to your mind?

Why?

Have you ever said that  while declining a meeting? Why or why not? What was the reaction you got?

I avoid saying it. Even if that’s the truth. I generally give some other vague reason. As far as possible, I avoid bringing up family, health, personal reasons for not being able to attend a call, or dinner, or trip. Unless I’m very comfortable or close to the person who requested.  The reaction is not always in so many words. Sometime’s its just the attitude, or the tone, or a raised eyebrow, or a speck of a frown. Sometimes, it just adds on to the stereotype.

Have you ever faced such situations? How do you handle them?

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One thought on “What’s your first thought?

  1. The superficial political correctness in Silicon Valley (and that then extends to whatever else it touches), the beacon of Gender Equality at work, masks how far we still need to go. The mere fact that less than 10% of non-administrative workforce in any IT company is made up of women attests to this barrier being stronger than we otherwise pretend to believe….

    Great post!

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