• Tricia Sampson

Standing tall with a strong voice

The Me Too champion and the pay equity issues are here in NZ.

As a mature woman I have experienced discrimination and difficult times

while doing my best for my employer. I have been shouted at, ignored a lot,

had my ideas stolen, disrespected and belittled. I even had a colleague

question if I was worthy of the salary I earnt at that point. Thinking back I

can see how my disbelief in myself was used against me to confuse me,

put me in my place getting taken for granted.

I have heard that the ‘good men’ in our lives are not sure how to take this,

not sure what to do or how to support us. This movement is not going to

go away.

I believe we need to inform our good men on how they can support us in a

way that counts, changing mind-sets, old fashion beliefs that no longer

work for today’s dynamic woman.


Speak up

For me one of the biggest disappointments is the mind set and jokes men

have with each other when they think woman are not around. This is in the

locker room, at the drinks after the game.

I say to all good men, when you hear something disrespecting or belittling

woman, stand up and say this is not ok. Or If you hear someone speaking

badly to a woman but cannot speak up, ask the woman is she ok – showing

her support can help her move on and stand up for herself. This will also

show her that there are good men out there. If this is not something you

would do, tell one of her work friends or someone like me. She needs support.


Listen

A few years ago I was driving home from work up the Ngauranga Gorge

which I knew the traffic well. I was zipping in and out of lanes in my little

Ford Focus finding the best way home. I past a man in his big 4WD man car

and did not thing anything more about it. He did not like being passed by

a woman I guess. He followed me home and I pulled over just before my

house as I did not want him to know where I lived and then then gave me

the ‘I am watching you’ gesture so I have him one back lol. II told my partner

and he said if I have of text him he would have come outside and thrown a

brick into this guy’s car – I did not want that.

When we voice our issues and concerns, listen. We don’t need action from

you (unless we ask for it), we just need to know you have listened and that

you support us.


Woman’s work

The other day I listened to a conversation between two men talking about

how they put their shirt down after a hard day at work and the next day it is

clean and ironed hanging in the closet. Lucky them. Some woman like to do

everything for their man and that is their prerogative but come on guys, take

ownership of your life. You make a mess clean it up, you live in a house care

for it, you have kids, look after them. A man does not babysit his own kids,

he looks after them alongside his wife/partner. Helping out at home is a

load of rubbish. If I brought a house and got a husband, I don’t go home

to help out, I go home to care for my home and family to the standards

we have set - it should be the same for male counterpart of that relationship.

How happy would your wife/partner be if she came home and you have

cooked dinner, brought in the washing and got the kid’s lunch ready?

That could save your partner about 1 hour of extra work per night especially

when you have kids.


Employers

If you are in a position to employ people, make sure you pay all employees

based on their skills and experience. Just because a new talented employee

is a woman, does that mean she should earn less that her male co-workers

because she is a woman?

So to all the good men out there I say thank you and I hope this helps

but if in doubt talk to your loved ones and ask – what do you need from me.

Most likely just being there is enough.

Tricia

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