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Filing vs Gadgets – Battle of the Sexes

When you walk into our office, you will be immediately greeted by 5 friendly female faces in our open plan archival digitisation suite. We could say we employ females in the archiving role for their accuracy and attention to detail but that would be stereotyping…

Our audio-video engineers, who happen to be male, are tucked away in the large audio-visual engineers’ room at the back of the office. We could say they are male because there are lots of gadgets to play with, but that would also be stereotyping.  It is in fact just the way it worked out and there are lots of gadgets involved with archival as well as it happens, and the audio-visual engineers have to be timely and accurate also.

The reality is all my female employees are highly qualified archive technicians, all of which are busy digitising and scanning corporate, heritage and consumer orders, ready for online presence.

It would also be easy to assume one or two of the women at the front desks are receptionists, but both myself and my office manager Ali Martin lead the front desks to ensure our clients gain the best customer service; given we are the most experienced in sales and management it makes perfect sense to our team. 

I am no stranger to the example of bias when clients expect the owner to be a male and try to direct their questions to our engineers, should they be in the office.  My head engineer Leigh finds this irritating but amusing, guiding the client to realise that I am the Director. 

I have been in business for over 25 years, with 15 of them being the Director of Oxford Duplication Centre.  I have experienced over these years many off the cuff levels of bias and stereotyping either through being a female in a generally male led technical environment or being a perceived a receptionist.  Although after a few minutes clients soon realise that I am actually the owner just by expertise.

What I have experienced though over the past couple of years is a change in perception.  I believe partly this is led by our age group 45-55 and the children we have that are growing up.  My daughter sees less inequality with her peers than I did at her age.  And in turn she expects equality.  I believe this adult age group maybe unknowingly, or knowingly teaching our children to be equal and in turn it highlights changes within themselves.  Because I have seen less inequality with my male and female employees in this industry, but only over the past 2-3 years.

It is only our guidance, teachings, and willingness to grow in accepting that both male and female are not separated, rather we must work together.

Because a male perspective is as important as a female perspective and diversity is the key to success in any business.

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