While in Paris attending (and blogging for) the Women's Int'l Networking Conference, my thoughts are clearly on women's empowerment, women leading the future, and the shaking loose of old (male-oriented) ways of conducting business. The Italian presenters are all amazing women, each trailblazers in their own field, all with incredible backgrounds and by their very presence, reveal that a lot of good things are happening in Italy - many of which are even being exported abroad. Sadly, Italy kept coming up as an example of how bad things can get: While we have 60% of the graduates, we rank 72nd in the world on equality issues.
The reasons are many: from mammismo, male culture, deeply entrenched ideas of men's & women's places.
And so it's last week's news out of Vicenza from the Corriere Veneto, that paints this picture for me so accurately - showing from what depths we need to come out of:
- A boss in a Company said that if his staff met their objectives, his secretary would be the prize.
In the old days, women (worldwide) turned a blind eye to this - the victim thankfully is filing a formal complaint. His response, "It was just a joke." Sorry, sense of humour failure.
- A nightclub opened in the area, "Diverso Strip Club" which needed to improve upon women in cages and lap dances. So now, it's nude women as serving trays. The food is served right on them (or off of them, depending on your point of view).
- And of course, there was the traditional beauty contest in the area whereby the winner was awarded with a waitress position at the end.
Now, we've been talking about finding your passion in the workplace, but I think this is going a bit overboard...!