Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash Mum’s are precious; there is no denying that. Right from day one they have provided us with endless love. Be that making sure we were fed, picking us up all over town or even giving us some … Continue reading
We all have those girlfriends who always answer ‘oh, I don’t need anything’ or ‘I’m not sure!’ whenever you ask the big birthday present question. What if you knew what to get without even asking them? Within friendship groups there … Continue reading
One of my oldest and dearest friend was recently let go from his job. While it was an extremely stressful and frightening time for himself and his partner, it was also a blessing in disguise as he had wanted to try something new for a while.
After spending a few weeks secretly enjoying his unemployment and carefree days, he began to explore the possibility of taking up teaching. A rewarding career with some awesome holidays….hello sun! He even went as far as doing a short, part-time stint as a teaching assistant. But maybe the less said about that experience the better.
The other avenue that he explored and has ultimately taken is human resource (HR), a career that I did not fully understand until we began to discuss it further. It has always seemed to be a sector dominated by women and I was curious as to why?
The perception that HR is a girls only club appears to be based on the stereotypes of the role and genders in general. Many people would be hard pressed to tell you what HR professionals do. When we think of HR, the conventional view is that of administration, recruitment and someone handing out tissues to upset employees.
While the role is by its very nature about managing people, requiring many soft skills such as communication, what I have learned is that HR professionals require real knowledge of business practice and policy. This allows them to understand their business objectives better and in turn to identify and nurture existing employees in their roles.
It was interesting to hear that when my friend did his CIPD level 3 to better his skills in HR, that there were several ex-armed forces on the course with him. Which makes sense when you consider that they probably have a great idea about how to build a team or two!
You may be thinking, but women are better at soft skills, they listen better, they can read between the lines, they are more caring. Or maybe men wouldn’t believe they possess nor would they necessarily want to develop these skills.
Really? As if a man could not do the same? This perception has allowed the industry to be dominated by women over the last couple of decades, while it appears men have focused their attention on other industries.
This the 21st century and we are constantly annoyed by the notion that women are not as good as our male counterparts in many other industries. Men are more than capable of possessing or developing these skills in HR and the sooner more do, the better.
Does It Matter?
I personally think that businesses should worry less about which gender an employee is and start employing people based on their personality and life experience. After all, as my friend will show, this is all that really matters.
Like most people in the UK I love watching a bit of Wimbledon in the summer, accompanied by strawberries and cream of course. So, I was over the moon to see that Serena Williams was pregnant with her first child, … Continue reading
I always used to think that baby showers were the strangest events we take part in as women. Sometimes a dozen ladies, sitting in a circle and showering someone in the cutesiest gifts money can buy. Worst of all, we can’t even drink! I suppose that’s fair enough, your poor friend has gone nine months without a glass of rose, I guess we can go one day!
As I’ve gotten older, I finally understand baby showers – the main event is of course, the gifts. We might act like we aren’t competing with one another on the surface, but we’re all trying to get her the best gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive, unique is the name of the game – and here are the most unique baby shower gifts you can get!
This was one I hadn’t come across before, I would never have thought to buy anything perishable as a gift. I’d been thinking that I had to buy the expectant mother a gift that they’d use every single day. They must get dozens of walkers, strollers and items of baby clothing – they can’t possibly use them all. The best thing about this particular gift is that it doubles up as a gorgeous little tin once you’ve finished all of the biscuits.
God knows us ladies love pretty little storage containers. If you can categorise it, it’s got its own little tin, drawer or box. I’ve got one for my keys, receipts, travel photographs and jewellery from over the years. I guess what sets this apart from other new baby gifts is how delicious these ones look!
Keeping with a bit of a storage theme here – this gorgeous keepsake box is great for the sentimental mums. It comes fully assembled so hapless dads don’t have the opportunity to put it together wrong! There’s a dedicated drawer for all of the major little keepsakes the new baby will have over the course of the first few years. The box houses everything, from their first pair of mittens, to their dummy and hospital bracelet.
It makes more sense than getting the new mum a blender, doesn’t it? Not only is it functional, but it looks brilliant too, that little drawer of special keepsakes at the bottom could be used for anything!
This might sound like a bit of a controversial one. Just because it’s the baby shower, doesn’t mean mum should miss on gifts of her own. It shouldn’t come as surprise to anyone that bearing a child for that long takes its toll! Mum needs some looking after. A selection of organic body creams would be a more than welcome gift.
Hand creams are a fantastic gift idea. Unscrewing tight bottles, testing temperatures, lifting heavy bags, and cleaning up after little ones really wears down your hands. No doubt they’ll love your gift!
If there is one thing new babies like more than crying all day and rejecting any attempt to feed them, it’s their blanket.
Please find out a) what the baby’s name is and b) how you spell it before you get them their own personalised blanket. Might be best to check with the Dad first, don’t let him tell mum though. The personalisation can be as subtle or blatant as you see fit, but be sure that they’re going to get hundreds of hours of use out of it.
Don’t be so quick to spend over a hundred pounds on one made of cashmere though, I know that I took my blanket with me everywhere…I mean everywhere – every puddle, every dinner time, every walk through the park with dad, every car trip. It’s going to get muddy at some point, don’t invest in a blanket so soft that they’re restricted to using it in a nice clean living room. That’s not how babies work!
This list isn’t to say that bouncers, push-chairs and ‘aww’ worthy little shoes won’t be great baby shower gifts, but everyone gets those – there isn’t anything more awkward than two people bringing the same gift and the cheaper one having to be taken back. Babies grow unbelievably quick, don’t spend all your money if they’re only going to be that size for a couple of months.
As I write this, there’s been some notable developments in the world of workplace gender discrimination. Many people have made a valid point that as Hilary Clinton prepares to be the likely Democratic candidate for presidency in 2016, women who … Continue reading