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Generation XY


I like to think I’m a bit of a new man. You know, in touch with my inner soft furnishings. I don’t just watch films about war and I’ve been to a musical. I can cook and get a lump in my throat watching Watership Down.

So much so, it seems that I could be mistaken for a woman.

This has happened to me once before when, in a bar in France, a lady who had consumed enough Pastis to intoxicate the entire Foreign Legion from behind a dune, tapped me on the shoulder and in a gravelly voice borne of smoking Gaulloises since the cradle, enquired, “mademoiselle?”.

That relationship never had a future………

More recently it has happened in the blogosphere, which doesn’t really surprise me as a lot of HR people are women a lot of bloggers are women…so combine the two and Bob’s your Auntie.

Anyway, it made me wonder this.

If we put aside the arguments about whether HR as a profession is any good or not for the moment and accept the stereotypes given to it (remember: we are as other people see us).

Is HR viewed as being un-commercial and ineffective because there are more women in it?

Or are women attracted to HR because its appeal is being less hard edged and commercial and more intuitive?

And is the only way to change the perceptions of HR to recruit more men and change its modus operandi?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. teresahrgirl permalink
    10/12/2009 18:18



    I'm HR and a woman and I am neither soft nor ineffective in my organization.
    Further, I don't think a man working in an organization that doesn't value HR and who doesn't have a clue on how to make it relevant for the business is going to be any more successful than a woman who has the same issues. It's really far fetched to believe that hiring men is the way to improve the status of HR.

    dem iz fightin' words, dude.

  2. HRD permalink
    10/14/2009 12:02

    @teresahrgirl – Jeez, I'm scared! I guess my point is whether the prejudices that exist about HR are linked to a sexist belief that is innate within business. I have personally worked for more women CEOs than men and I have upmost respect for women in business. This isn't a personal view, this is more a question of how we shake perceptions and whether they are linked to the high proportion of women in HR. Does that make sense?

  3. teresahrgirl permalink
    10/14/2009 13:32

    Don't be scared it'll only hurt for a second 😉 Just kiddin'!

    Ok just because two things are in relation to each other doesn't mean there is a link… I don't think the perception of women in business has an affect on the perception of HR. I do think that the perception of HR is driven by the big, bad things we have to do… RIF's, firing, etc that the public hears about. This idea about the cat-sweater wearing matronly old lady as the HR person doesn't necessarily connect to the profession as a whole i think. Seems that that impression is a personal one, and the ineffectiveness of HR is a public one and the two are not connected.. Hmmmm… I'll think on it though.

  4. teresahrgirl permalink
    10/14/2009 13:34

    and i meant its personal to individuals… not your personal opinions. just to clarify…

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