I want to hear your experience!
A female friend of mine recently commented that she can’t be honest with her employer about feeling overwhelmed due to home-schooling, as it’s seen as a weakness. However, a male taking on such additional responsibility, at the cost of reducing work hours, is considered to be an inspirational role-model to be congratulated and encouraged.
So, I’m interested to understand your experience. Does gender impact on our ability to be authentic and expose our vulnerability, or is it really about workplace culture? Does honesty communicate weakness or courage when it’s about traditionally female roles and responsibilities? How equal is the experience for men and women in terms of what is expected of them and their mental capacity? And does this make women stronger or break them?
I want to find out more and need your help. Please take a minute to answer the questions to anonymously submit your views.
Investing in yourself is not an indulgence. If you’re not in the right mental space to feel that you’re coping yourself, how can you expect to be able to care for, or even cope with, people around you? Regardless of gender, this should be about our capacity both mentally and practically to juggle what life throws at us.
So, here are a few tips to help you level the playing field and achieve a sense of control now:
- Explain to your workplace how you and your male counterpart share childcare responsibilities and how you both have to adjust work to accommodate the additional demands. In other words, set the equality expectations from inside out.
- Re-consider your values and be proud about prioritising your health over a job, where that’s your bottom line. If your boss considers you ‘weak’ now, you’ll be able to show them that you’re more resilient than they gave you credit for, as you maintain your mental wellbeing and performance while others around you become increasingly absent. And all because you’re looking after yourself.
- Be assertive in communicating your choices. When you state your decision to take conscious action based on a clear plan, and you demonstrate your intention to be able to resume ‘normal’ duties sooner than had you burnt out, it becomes a clear business case. Mumbling apologetically about not coping isn’t going to win over the less empathetic managers.
And remember, if you were on an aeroplane plummeting to earth, you wouldn’t care what your boss thought. Don’t let it get to the point of crashing.
For more information or to discuss this further, please do get in touch directly if you’d prefer not to complete the survey or leave your email details.