• Question: What does being female change about the atmosphere and expectations prevalent when you work?

    Asked by 369drgj22 to Donna, Avril on 19 Jun 2017.
    • Photo: Avril Tucker

      Avril Tucker answered on 19 Jun 2017:

      Brilliant question! Being female shouldn’t change anything. And it actually doesn’t be have any bearing on the atmosphere, which is generally good. The only time I have noticed a change was when I was pregnant and had a baby… twice. There was definately an expectation that I would take my full maternity leave and come back part time. As it happens, I took 16 weeks maternity leave and my husband took the rest. I also returned to full time work while my husband went part time. This raises eyebrows from time to time but it works for my family. If I had been a man I don’t think anyone would have thought twice about me coming back to work full time.

    • Photo: Donna Johnson

      Donna Johnson answered on 20 Jun 2017:

      I don’t think it changes anything, or i’ve never noticed that being a woman has had an impact on what i do in my work life. I think, similarly to Avril, the only time it’s ever come close is associated with having a child. Not so much in terms of maternity leave as my supervisor really didn’t care one way or the other and no-one thought anything of me coming back after a short leave. I think it has an impact on how i judge myself in terms of work, after choosing to go for a better job that meant i see less of my son i want to make sure that it’s worth it, so i put expectations on myself to do well. Women can be judged quite harshly sometimes for making those decisions in a way that men are not and i find myself justifying our family situation and my decisions sometimes, sadly usually to other women, we can be our own worst enemies sometimes.