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Old school equality

June 16, 2013

Today is Father’s day so I thought I would recount the advice my father gave my husband on managing people at work. He had managed sales teams, office teams and was a Director of an agricultural seeds and feedstuffs company for much of his working life. And he always believed you had to treat people equally. He had as much respect for the men on the floor of the mill as the general manager of the company.
And similarly he told my husband that he must never show favour to one girl in the office compared to the others. And therein lies the first red flag. When he was working, the administrative staff were all female and referred to as ‘girls’. And it wouldn’t have occurred to him that that in itself might be perjorative to some. That he would never have referred to the men in the mill as ‘boys’.
But I digress. The heart of the lesson he relayed to my husband relates to the girls. Not in the office, but packing in the mill.
One of my Dad’s colleagues had gone in to the room where all the women were working and put his arm around one of them had a quick grope. My father found out because one of the other women came to my dad to complain. But not about the fact one of her colleagues had been sexually assaulted by a more senior male.
She complained that she hadn’t. It wasn’t right that this man should show favouritism like that.
So the lesson my father was passing on to his son-in-law was that if you’re going to squeeze one woman’s tits, you have to squeeze them all…..

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