Monday Column: The fraternity of men against women professionals

Opinion Sunday 12/February/2023 17:46 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday Column: The fraternity of men against women professionals

When a conversation came up that women are not given equal employment opportunities, I knew we were going to discuss a sensitive issue that many countries around the world go through.

Someone said maybe women should try harder. Men would always protect their jobs and men would always favour themselves when it comes to job posting. It is the fraternity of men versus women in a professional world. That would not change, not even in a million years, because nature dictates so. The nation that coined the phrase being ‘political correct’ has never had a woman president in its history though Hillary Clinton came close.

Photo - Saleh Al Shaibany

Women always come close to “snatch men’s jobs” but they never seem to do it. In a recent Women Business Forum at Muscat, men were barred from attending the conference. Hence, it received only a limited coverage in the local media. There are preciously few women reporters in Oman and the absurdity is that they are no television camerawomen. Yet, they still insisted on barring men from attending the conference. If it was not self-defeating then I would like to ask women how that forum helped their cause.

The forum has started awards for women CEOs and business executives, among other categories. This is another absurdity. Why should women single themselves out from the general world of competitiveness and compound their isolation? A Best Woman Entrepreneur would not automatically win contracts for her business. I don’t think a top company would take seriously the application of woman who won the Best Woman Executive of the Year award. Why? Because the majority of the executives, are men. Women are perhaps just 20 percent of all executives.  

Women might as well go into social isolation further by establishing Women-Only-Zones since they are determined to isolate themselves. The forum said that the awards would give women better opportunities to try to send a signal to men not to discriminate the opposite sex. I don’t think the organisers were thinking straight when they introduced the honours. How could women be considered in the equal opportunity scheme if they put up barriers for themselves? If there are going to be more women CEOs, cabinet ministers and even managers, then the ladies must rate themselves higher.

They also must align themselves in direct career collision with their male counterparts not work parallel to them. Men now have the excuse to further obstruct the career progress of women. Men would be happy to see women executives in businesses like fashion and beauty shops but not in financial and engineering sectors. It is the message these women forums send out to men. As it is, the Fraternity of Men Club has an unwritten code that says women take too many days off from work.

In a nutshell, if women want to continue to go up the ladder of success, they must be prepared to compete with men in a more challenging way instead of using their gender as an excuse. This way, they may find the road towards acceptance in the executive world not so bumpy with the right attitude. I personally think women would serve better than men as top executives or senior government officials. Women are more compassion, considerate and are less prone to make irrational decisions than men.

But they must rate themselves higher in the professional world if they want to occupy top management positions.