International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. I will leave it up to those who are better informed than I, to discuss the obstacles and abuse that many females suffer in areas of the world. I will focus on the women in our province of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Saskatchewan is very much a white, male dominated province. This is easily proven by glancing at any political or industry photo that is published in Saskatchewan. There are the token minority, native, women in the mix – but they are few and far between.

Saskatchewan women are also paid well beneath their male counterparts – for work that is as crucial, or more so, to the well being of a company or government department. There are probably laws against such discrimination, but it is as easy as manipulating job titles to stay on the right side of any laws on the books.

Also, in Saskatchewan, most women fall far short on pension income compared to men – mainly due to a lifetime of lower income and the fact that a lot of women tend to take lengthy leaves from the ‘paid work’ world to have and care for young children.

Those are the facts but here is where I get down to my opinion.

Yes, we live in a white, MALE dominated province. When it comes to power and finances, this is not terribly fair. However, in my opinion, if things are going to change – it is women who are going to have to make the bulk of the changes.

I worked (paid employment) for the better part of the past fifty years. The first twenty of those years was generally part-time balanced by completing my education and raising my family. The last thirty years was spent in the restaurant and construction industry – mainly in administration, the last few years being focused on sales.

Over the years, I have made the following (general) observations.

  • Men and women think and act differently when it comes to their education and careers.
  • Men interact differently with men (and with women) than women do with women (and with men).
  • Men tend to make friends and teammates in school and college – relationships that last well into their careers and probably into retirement.
  • From the first day of kindergarten, most little girls have a competitive relationship with other little girls. They have one or two close friendships – and are constantly working to exclude anyone else from their relationship group. Girls are MEAN to each other. It does not stop at kindergarten. It goes on throughout their education and right through their careers. Women do not have the same networks as men because they do not develop them.
  • Women, for the most part, do not dedicate themselves to their education or to their careers as most men do. I know that. I went to school with girls who focused on hair, clothes, boys and getting an education. The boys were focused on team sports, hanging with their bro’s, generating cash, getting an education – and girls.
  • When men enter the real work world, most of them make their work a pretty serious priority. Women – not so much. Over the years, especially in the construction industry, I knew a lot of women who showed up and did their job – nine to five, Monday through Friday. I worked in this industry for thirty years. I was what I was – a female, generally in skirts, heels and make-up. But I showed up – seven days a week if I had to, six o’clock in the morning or ten o’clock at night if I had to. I went to pre-construction walk thru’s, training seminars, industry meetings and events – and I was generally the only woman in the room. At first, I got strange looks from the men – but I was never abused or patronized in any way. As they came to know me and realized I knew my job and was dedicated to doing it, they came to just accept me, respect me, and appreciate my competence and reliability. My gender was irrelevant.
  • Women who made the most noise about how they were treated, were the ones who treated men the worst. (Treated everyone the worst). I noticed that, not only at the companies where I worked, but in unrelated industries – especially healthcare. If a woman in a medical office has a sign above her desk that states ‘NO ABUSE OR DISRESPECT WILL BE TOLERATED’, I seriously suggest that you tread carefully. Those women are dangerous.
  • Women are more prone to making excuses in a work environment – they blame co-workers, use mental issues (anxiety, OCD), use physical issues (Too short, to small, too feeble). If men encounter issues, they deal with them and move on.
  • Women tend to be less co-operative with co-workers. They do their job and that is it. Men tend to work together to get the job done.
  • When men become managers, they tend to be confident enough in their positions to look for the best employees they can get and will go out of their way to see them properly trained. They know that good performance by their staff will make them look good. Women tend to be easily threatened by competent employees. If they do find and hire them, they are reluctant to fully train them as they might become an even bigger threat. It is self defeating but I have seen it – a lot!

These are MY observations and opinions based on my experiences in Saskatchewan.

The bottom line is – yes I believe this is a male dominated province BUT if women want that to change, I think that they should change. See what the men are doing and do that. I don’t mean swearing and cussing, or dressing like a man, or acting all bull headed and bossy. I mean act competent, act professional, work with others, respect others and teach your daughters likewise – before they start kindergarten. Then inevitably things will change.

That is it for today. As always feel free to comment below – even, and especially, if you disagree with my comments above. Take care and have a great day! 💞

21 thoughts on “International Women’s Day

  1. I feel sad that this has been your predominant experience. There are of course, women like this, but in my experience it was rare. Men were much more likely to want to be ‘top dog’ and even to steal ideas of women and take credit for their work. The times I did the best work and felt the most supported was when I worked with women. At the University the last few years, our diverse team of women and men from many different countries and ethnic backgrounds and skill sets was the culmination of the best of all my working years. It was a great time to be part of the work. I see commonality now in the writing, work produced, and even in political administrations–albeit in other countries thus far–among women creating change.

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  2. I am glad that you had positive experiences working with women. I definitely believe there are areas, like universities, where that would be the case. And to be honest, Saskatchewan is very much behind other areas of North America in a lot of ways. I hope for my granddaughters’ sakes that we get and keep moving in the right direction.

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  3. In all my years, I have never seen a sign in a doctor’s office that stated “NO ABUSE OR DISRESPECT WILL BE TOLERATED”. If I did, I would go elsewhere. The sign itself is disrespectful to all clients. While it is totally wrong for women to not have equal pay, I find this whole “movement” offensive. No disrespect intended to women.

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  4. I think you made some really good points. Women need to wake up and change if they take their careers seriously. This is why I am so happy to be retired! I have to say, where I worked for 37 years, women were not “catty” at all. On the other hand, they didn’t get promoted all that often either.

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  5. Thank you! The cattiness wasn’t really an issue for me personally either, as I was generally the only woman or one of two, where I worked. But I definitely saw it in restaurants where I did their books and heard about it from friends and family who worked in banks, retail outlets, health centres and the like. Plus I often see it for myself when I am in those places. I have seen a lot of drama that was far from professional. Not that I haven’t seen it occasionally with men but not as often – and this post was about empowering women.

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  6. Men generally aren’t but women working in government offices and health facilities are. And I get that health workers have taken a LOT of abuse in health facilities since Covid began but it has always been like that here. When my Dad was diagnosed with cancer and had to come to the Cancer centre here, I was mortified. One old bat came charging up and grabbed him by the arm and dragged him into an elevator to go for his chemo treatment. I was able to catch up and between Dad and I (Dad had pretty much reverted to communicating only in French and he was losing his hearing) we finally convinced her that Dad was not on chemo. He was there to be fitted for a radiation mask. That was just one of several incidents that I have witnessed over the years.

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  7. That’s terrible, AnneMarie! The old bat needed a bat on the head! God bless your daddy. Why are humans so nasty with each other? Are we as bad as two alley cats scrapping it out?!

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  8. I also worked at a college and didn’t experience what you describe. I think you are right when you responded to an earlier post that a university might be different. I had a wonderful collegial relationship with men and women during my working years.

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  9. Girls can definitely be mean to each other. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t have the best experiences working with other women. I have had both amazing and awful experiences working with women (and men). I’ve learned it’s best to just try to ignore toxic people in general and try to focus on the bigger picture. Of course it’s easier said than done.

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  10. I am glad you have had some amazing experiences working with men and women. I did as well – more with men but then I worked with a lot more men than women. But.. I have definitely known a lot of women (in and out of work) who try to force others to change their attitude rather than consider that maybe it would be more effective if they changed their own. In my mind that is always where our power is.

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  11. A really interesting post. When I finished school in 1972 and began my career in a typically white male dominated corporation, I was surprised to find that women were worse than men at inhibiting the success of other women. I have many stories but remember particularly how a very hardworking and sharp woman had worked her way up out of the typing pool into a management position in one of the divisions. I was in a Corporate department with two males in their 60’s. We needed to fill an opening for a fourth person. All three of us recommended Janet as the top candidate. She was promoted as the one woman manager in the Corporate offices. We did not have word processors and we had to produce huge documents for the government. When they had to be revised, they were retyped. The typing pool was all female. They resented and sabotaged Janet at every turn. I never noticed it for the longest time but her work was always done last no matter the actual priority. She succeeded because she was just that good (I found out later that she would come in on weekends and type her own stuff). The Vice President who did the most for women in those days was the male with four daughters in his own household! I am sure he was horrified by whatever stories they told about their workplaces.

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  12. Great comment, Geoff. I appreciate hearing about your experience. I have known a number of successful women in my life and they were much like your Janet. Dedicated to getting the job done and rising about the drama that came from working with other women. I don’t think women should have to ‘come in weekends and type her own stuff’ but I have seen men do that much and more to have successful careers. And, I have more often seen men (as opposed to women) do that much and more for co-workers.

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