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B****es in Business – What Do You Think?

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Blog page, Tricky Issues | 0 comments

B****es in Business – What Do You Think?

Earlier this week I was reminded by a colleague about the ‘B****es In Business’ video, that went viral a year or so ago. Anyone else remember that? Created by three Colombia Business School students, it became an almost overnight success on the World Wide Web, racking up over 1.5 million views within just a week.

Please be aware that some may find the language offensive – though arguably, much less offensive than the fact that in the 21st century, this is still a huge cultural problem within our workplaces.

It’s a parody of Meghan Trainor’s mega-successful hit ‘All About That Bass’. I’m not saying I advocate the use of all the colourful language and cheeky humour, but amongst it all, there’s a very serious message – that women in the workplace with the drive and ambition to get ahead are often perceived as ‘b****es’ for wanting the same as their male counterparts. It was described by the students starring in the video as ‘a love letter to all the badass b****es who aren’t afraid to be themselves in the business world’, and if the aim was to get people talking about inequality in the workplace, it succeeded.

The start of the video sees a lone woman sitting in the boardroom, while several voiceovers share a selection of comments about her performance that many females in high powered roles in the corporate world will be all too familiar with: ‘People find your tone a little off-putting. You should try to be warmer and more nurturing’, and ‘Man, the way she wouldn’t budge on that part of the contract… She was being a real b****’.

The women go on to reclaim the word ‘b****’, suggesting that having this insult thrown at you simply means that you’re doing something right. After all, the word is merely a tool for belittling confidence, ambition, and power into something that is undesirable and crass.

The gender gap may have fallen to a record low, but inequality is still deeply embedded in the organisational culture of many businesses.

What did you think of the video? And what can you do as a business leader to play your part in making the change? If you’d like to discuss what your business can do to support equal opportunities then do get in touch.

Best wishes,

Emma

emma@gatewayhr.com

01536 215240

 

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