You are female, please wear a skirt to work
Did you hear? A Russian company will pay women more if they would wear a skirt to work. Somehow this does not make any sense. Will these women perform better and deliver better results? Is it part of a formal dress code? No think again, it has absolutely nothing to do with performance and results!
Max 5 cm above the knees, please.
Russian company Tatprof has launched a “get back to the feminine” campaign. Women are able to earn extra money (about 1,30 Euro an hour) during the month of June f they would wear a skirt or dress instead of trousers to work. Not just any skirt or dress, it should be 5cm max above the knee.
Here you can enrol, sign up here. So how many women have signed up for the program? According to the director, about 60. If you think about it, why would any woman in their right mind do this?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am a feminist and as a feminist, I strongly believe a person should be able to live and make decisions according to their own rules. But did these 60 women decided to enrol according to their own rules? Here is the most shocking thing about this campaign: nobody knows.
I’ve got questions
Why is this a real campaign? According to the director, women are becoming more and more manly and men more female like. The campaign should encourage women to feel more feminine and it would benefit the company as well. Women would be more caring towards their children and it is a way of bringing more joy and unity into the company (only 149 female employees in a total of 550 people). Plus, a more feminine hairstyle and makeup would be needed as well. Photos will be taken as evidence, only then these women will get the additional pay. At the end of the month, the most feminine woman will receive an additional price? There are also additional activities to stimulate feminine behaviour, like cooking contests.
Huh? I have got questions?
• So wearing a dress or skirt makes you feel more feminine?
• So wearing a skirt or dress makes you a caring mother?
• So short hair is not feminine?
• So women are responsible for the joy and unity within the company?
• So wearing makeup is considered to be more feminine?
• About the additional price, who is the judge and how do they do the judging?
• So cooking is a feminine activity?
• Why are men deciding what feminine means?
Did you ask?
But the biggest question I have got is: did you ask the 149 women in the company what they would consider being feminine is and what they would like or not like. Chances are, they would be interested in making more money. The question remains: why, how and what would they want to do?
No, not a sweet spot, a blind spot. You may think your intentions and actions are on the spot, it might as well be the most offensive thing to say or do. You can avoid it, just by asking. Simple as that.