Work: telling the need of women

"Dare to affirm our personal imperatives!" It is urgent that women manage to reconcile professional and private spheres, and make their needs heard. This is the conviction of the psychoanalyst Sylviane Giampino.

Anne-Laure Gannac

As soon as they entered the world of work, especially the company, women chose to silence their family and personal imperatives. Why? Because they played the male game of the separation between the private sphere and the professional sphere. But this split is an artifice, proposed by industrialization, which was so much that there is a sexual division of functions: men devoted primarily to the professional sphere, women to the private sphere. Yet surprisingly, women and mothers have invested professionally in adhering to this existing model, even though it could no longer hold.

Another reason for this silence: they felt - rightly - that their penalization in the professional world was based essentially on the idea that they could not be real professionals on the pretext that they would be real mothers. In an attempt to remove this suspicion, which is one of the major causes of gender inequality in the business world, they have seen fit to embrace this divide between work and private life: to continue to work as if they did not carry the majority of the burden of family expenses and continue to look after the house as if they were not working.

And, we can all see, the record is catastrophic: it is the trap of what are called the "compromise solutions". False solutions that many women have been forced to subscribe to, that is to say, part-time work, career breaks, the renunciation of professional development ... All these arrangements we must recognize that they do not have made no progress: neither gender equality in the company nor equality in the division of tasks at home. Today, I observe in my practice and in the field investigations that an evolution is beginning.

Too little progress

Women who have gained a little more confidence in the professional world are beginning to speak and to have the imperatives of their personal lives recognized. Oh, not all, far from it! Only a small part of them can afford it, because they are in secure positions - holders in the public service or, in the private sector, working either in positions of power, or in a team with strong human value , where they feel the freedom to say "Be careful, I'll be off for three hours to take my baby to the pediatrician" without fear of being judged as employed.

As minority as they are, these women make me optimistic about their power to change things. Because they imply that the non-cleavage of personal and professional spheres is a source of balance for everyone. Men also find their interest. Moreover, we are beginning to see the emergence, in some French companies, attempts to regulate different proposals for development. And organizations are developing, such as the Observatory of Corporate Social Responsibility (Orse), which has a specific section on taking into account parenthood in the workplace.

Asserting our needs

How to generalize this speech and dare to make the intolerable superficiality of the gap between private and professional life heard? In fact, the most complicated thing is not to dare to talk about one's private life at work; after all, women have always talked about their children, and motherhood is a positive social value, including in the eyes of men and leaders. The difficulty is to dare to propose improvements. For example, French women are the queens of presenteeism , and an added value is given to those who stay longer at work, even though it has never been a sign of efficiency. . This is a point on which we can speak. By explaining, for example, to his hierarchy that no, we can not stay late, because we have family constraints, but reassuring at the same time: it is not for lack of dedication for the company!

Similarly, by weighing on the collective organization in order to modify meeting times that are too late or by requiring more preparation time in case of transfer. Let's not forget that claiming personal or family imperatives from his employer is not outlawing. There is legislation in France that takes these needs into account. The law of silence also exists within the couple. When I ask women, I can see very little about the difficulties involved in this link between private and professional life, because they think they come from elsewhere: traits of character, bad habits, defensive reflexes: "I can not count on you", "You do not know how to organize", etc. The couple is a face-to-face of resentment experienced in a personal and individual way, without taking into account their social determinants.

That's what it's about to become aware of. But also because behind this silence of women hides the attachment, more or less acknowledged, to a traditional distribution of the roles of women and men in education. When men continue to believe that professional success is synonymous with manhood and a priority that everything else needs to adjust to, I can only see how much women have always balanced their working lives with their personal lives.And they can not take it anymore. They start looking for other strategies, to talk. I encourage them: they are right! The world of work must change to take into account their needs and imperatives, and we must not rely on men and fathers to take care of them, otherwise it would have been a long time ago.

Then, after all, today, the world of work is entering more and more into the private sphere, via teleworking, technological tools or even anxiety and insecurity due to precarious employment. Would not it be a fair feedback that the professional space itself is more concerned with personal and family life? "

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