ZoZuidAs is opgezet door drie jonge vrouwen. Temidden van turbulente tijden zijn wij onze carrière begonnen op de Zuidas als advocates en bankier. Het is geen Londen, het is geen New York, maar de Zuidas staat voor een beetje zakelijke glamour in de polder. Wij beschrijven wat er leeft op die vierkante kilometer kantoorspeeltuin bij het WTC, want we kennen het wel en wee van de Zuidas van binnenuit. De kredietcrisis liet ook de Zuidas niet onberoerd. Na 3 maanden dalende billables en dagelijks terugkerende hyvesmarathons, hadden wij tijd en inspiratie om onze habitat wat beter te bekijken. Onze observaties plaatsen we sinds 2009 online. Geniet ervan en stuur de posts door! Onze stukken verschijnen o.a. in Glamour. Voor tips en commentaar zijn we te bereiken via zozuidas@gmail.com







donderdag 15 juli 2010

Womenomics

Applying for your first job is nerve racking. The second time around, you think you've been around the block and know how to play this game.
You upgraded your CV and added a shimmer of brilliance and social awareness while you were at it. With straight As in university and hobbies such as alpinism with the physically challenged and aura reading for the blind, there is but one conclusion your interviewers can arrive at: not only is this our Golden Profit Centre for the next decennium, but also a generally good person at heart. Hurray! This woman is the man for the job. Yes you can!

Or, can you? It seems that when applying the second time around, factors not necessarily related to your competencies have become relevant as well.
Last Friday I was having after-work drinks with my friends J, consultant, and C, soon-to-be doctor. Any potential patient would refrain from a daily diet of apples knowing C. C is a true Dutch beauty, tall, blond and blue-eyed, who does not fail to match her model looks with intellectual capacities. It so happens that C got into a training program at a fairly young age. Now, at the age of 31, she is applying for the partnership, equipped with a truthful, straight-A record, and a CV displaying proof of inhumane perseverance, such as crossing the Sahel desert on foot. Running at a pace of 12 km/hour with a 12kg backpack, that is.

It seemed like our Cameron Diaz here had a lot going for herself. However it also happened that C recently broke up with her long-time boyfriend. Single, beautiful and brilliant at the age of 31, she had to compete with a 35-year old settled bloke who brought along his family. The partnership decided to opt for the latter.

As one of the doctors explained, there was too high a risk that my bombshell friend would run into someone and have babies. Of course, the B-word was not mentioned literally, but the doctor did not have to employ the birds and the bees to get the message across. Politically correct metaphors as questionable future long-term commitment delivered the message.

Babies means being away on maternity leave for several months, if fortunate enough, at least twice within five years. Babies means a reasonable chance that a woman will apply for part-time work or at least temporarily relief for night and weekend shifts. All at the expense of the other partners.

So from a certain age, even when the Scarlet Letter is an S for single, a future employer will take the B-factor into consideration when deciding on your application. Merely having a womb creates a potential liability.

We have come a great deal since the Mad Men area: female participation in the Dutch labor market has increased from 37% to 46% over the last twenty years. Feminism seems the territory of hairy aunts stuck in times gone by. But perhaps it is time to focus on some practical solutions to tackle the last hurdles. Where is the day care at the ZuidAs?
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