My buddy Eric Wetlaufer has had his own business for over 20 years now and during that time he has been one of the most prominent people in Wesson for changing attitudes towards women in the workplace. Eric works in finance which was traditionally a men’s zone and it has only been in the last decade that this has really changed, especially thanks to people like Eric. I received an email from Eric last week talking about this subject, and here is his take on why this situation has changed for the better.
Eric spoke to me a lot about how women across all industry have been instilled with the confidence that they deserve the positions that they are being given. Much of this is the result of the brave women who have gone before, that have blazed a rail for the women of today. In finance for example women were once the assistants and the secretaries within a company whereas now we have CEOs and leaders who are women, each time one gains the position, she can inspire hundreds of women to do the same.
There was once this ridiculous notion that women would stay at home, cooking, cleaning and looking after the kids, whilst the men would go out and work. Even in these days the women who did work would have been doing things like hair dressing and admin tasks. Eric think that through some positive feminism, this traditional way of doing things had to change and that were we are now in terms of women occupying all manner of jobs, is simply the part of the process which was kickstarted years ago.
To support the social change Eric speak about how the law has caught up and now offers great protection for women which didn’t exist in the past. For example in the past women would be declined requests for leave due to pregnancy or the menopause for example, whereas now employers cannot do that and they must be flexible on issues like this. Eric notes how the government are responsible for social change, but that they should at least do their bit.
Finally it is down to education that Eric says we have so many young girls who are growing up with dreams of owning companies and becoming leaders. Education once told these young women that they wouldn’t be able to achieve their dreams, whereas now girls are growing up being told that they absolutely can, and that the world will help them to achieve whatever they want to. Eric cites his education as the reason for his positive attitude towards equality, and that thanks to the way in which he was taught, he never saw a difference between men and women in the workplace.