I didn’t know there was such a thing as “agender”. Maybe a typo, but not a thing, It turns out to be a term for people who don’t align to any gender at all.
Which of course is confusing to me , especially as I started this blog wanting to talk about a conference agenda, notable for its gender bias.
For years I have been turning up at conferences where most of the speakers and audience have been male. The topics have been male-orientated too and where there have been questions, almost all have come from us men.
I haven’t had to stop and think about this until recently.
On Wednesday I have been invited to employee benefits live at the Excel. The agenda is orientated to females, the speakers are almost exclusively female and I expect to be outnumbered and outspoken in the audience – by women.
I have to say, I don’t like it! Now I know how it must feel to have been a woman these past 40 years!
So I should attend sessions that include
There are virtually no men speaking and the tenor of introductions to the sessions suggest that the conversation will be about women by women.
This makes me wonder if I should be going
I will be leaving the workforce shortly, my capacity to influence behaviors in a positive way is fast diminishing as sadly is my interest in fertility and the menopause. I am concerned about domestic violence and women’s health (also session topics) but from a distance.
But I intend to go nonetheless. If only to understand what many women have gone through for decades – agender exclusion
Now I understand agender exclusion
In the old days, employee benefits were supposedly multi-gender but actually male-orientated. I once bought a power- drill as a workplace benefit. I have lost count of the number of football matches and motor racing events I’ve been invited to. Occasional outings to Fortnum and Mason’s were laid on for women but my experience of workplace perks have been peripheral to wellbeing and to what woman actually want (the shopping trips seem particularly ill-judged).
The reality is that women have less time for workplace benefits – because they typically have a second job when they get home.
Perhaps in future we can start including men in women’s conferences by explaining to us the importance of us getting the fridge stocked, the laundry done, the house cleaned and the children schooled.
I don’t begrudge the change in the agenda of employee benefits live. I welcome it. Right now the agenda looks exclusive to men, but conferences that address women’s issue are more important for men than we can understand.