Feminist Workplace

How To Build A Feminist Workplace

Jane Park, CEO of the Seattle-based cosmetics company Julep, is fired up about the recent Hobby Lobby ruling.

I can tell it’s on her mind because one minute we’re talking about the design of nail polish bottles and a second later, she shifts gears, taking us in an unexpectedly political direction. "Last month, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that companies are people but I really don’t think that’s true, " Park says, out of the blue. "A company is not one human being; if anything, it’s a mini-society. There are many ways that rules of a company impact our lives more than the rules of a government."

Park has spent decades thinking about the policies that affect women’s lives—it was the focus on her public policy degree at Princeton and her law degree at Yale—and today, as a businesswoman, it remains one of her biggest concerns. "As a head of a company, I see a huge opportunity to create the kind of society we want, " she tells me.

It's been a little over a year since Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In hit bookstore shelves, sparking a nationwide discussion about gender in the workplace. While many praised the book, calling it an invaluable manual for women keen to assert themselves at work, critics argued that Sandberg was urging women to adapt to a broken system rather than demanding that corporate America adapt to women's needs. The good news for Sandberg detractors is that business leaders across the country are busy building a feminist workplace that allows women to thrive in their careers without having to lean in too far.

If your employee is suffering some kind of personal crisis, it is not acceptable to get rid of her and replace her with a shiny new employee.

The nuts and bolts of building a feminist workplace can be complicated, as Julie Falk, executive director of the feminist magazine Bitch, based in Portland, Oregon, tells me. It often involves financial gymnastics that can be particularly challenging for a small organization like hers. Still, Bitch manages to give full-time and part-time employees—all of whom are women—health care, maternity leave, and the "Bitch minimum wage" of $15 an hour. "If Bitch can do it, why can’t you?" Falk asks.

While these policies benefit employees of both genders, they are particularly pertinent to women who, at a national level, earn only 77% of what their male counterparts do and have far more health care needs. "As a business leader, you get to create the model then organize your financial planning around it. Most organizations don’t think twice about paying the rent, but if you wanted, you could require all your staff to work from home so that you could afford to give them health care, " she says.

FAQ

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How do modern feminist societies regard beards in the workplace? | Yahoo Answers

They advocate affirmative action and high status for women who have closet case husbands. The dual beard couple of Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin is a compelling case in point.
BA - In Anglosphere feminist society, yes. European feminists are more chill about men keeping their foreskins, if only to distinguish them from Jews.

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