Look, the time has come, and we can’t ignore it any longer. Let’s talk about the last taboo, the elephant in the room. The grey, slightly cynical fifty-eight year old elephant to be precise. The one who is two years away from retirement, who has clocked up nearly forty years of commendable service, and whose best friend has set up a commune in Torquay. The elephant who is now beginning to view motivation like securing the belt on his trousers. …
Is there really anyone out there who hears those word and thinks “oh goody, yes please”?
If there is, you’re a much better person than me!
Take this example, it was a long time ago – but I still remember it like it was yesterday.
I’d given a sales presentation to a prospective client with Helen, a new Associate who I was mentoring. Despite not being a traditionally qualified ‘sales professional’, I was actually quite good at what I did. I believed passionately in the product that I was selling, and I had my own sales ‘muscle’ that I used to be effective.
Helen, on the other hand, was very much a qualified sales person. She had worked in sales for one market-leading multinational company for the fifteen years since her graduation. She had been on every sales course suggested – and undoubtedly knew her stuff.
My father gave his life to one company, a well-known white goods manufacturer. Trained as an electrical engineer, he started out tightening screws on appliances. But soon he was travelling up and down the country as a salesman and customer service provider selling household goods to shops.
The job suited my suave and humorous father to the core, and he did very well. So well, in fact, that the company made him Sales Manager, a promotion that saw him catapulted … into an office, where he spent his days managing a sales team.
“Mums are formidable in the workplace, we need to hire more.”
As a working Mum, the title of Melissa Jun Rowley’s blog published in the Women in Leadership section of the Guardian caught my eye.
Even a cursory glance at the media confirms that gender related issues in the workplace continue to figure prominently and are highly charged. And with good cause, as these recent examples show:
The recent study on the gender pay gap in the UK by Robert Half caused a huge stir. It found that women earn on average £300,000 less than men over their working life. The reasons given for this disparity are varied. They include the relative shortage of female professionals who progress into those senior roles that are linked with higher salaries.