Histori Personale

Childless workers: how to tackle tacit discrimination

Thyerja e akullit për këtë temë tabu është e mirë për të gjitha palët e përfshira. Për shkak se çliron nga vuajtja emocionale një gjendje të stigmatizuar kulturalisht, u jep fjalë atyre që nuk dinë t'i qasen kësaj çështjeje dhe nxit ndjeshmërinë midis kolegëve.

Childless workers: how to tackle tacit discrimination

Once again, it was Silicon Valley that led the way. In fact, in the midst of the pandemic, digital economy companies have made headlines about benefits for child laborers. With the closure of kindergartens and schools, parents had to jump in circles to reconcile family and professional needs. The highest-income companies on the planet have shared new benefits with their employees. Good news? In part, yes, if special measures - from bonuses to coupons to extra days off - have excluded childless workers, who, in many cases, have faced an additional workload. A study conducted in Canada last September provided a measure of the phenomenon. A quarter of workers surveyed confirm that expectations and workloads for childless employees are higher than for those with families. In the United States, that figure rises to 30%. Thus we became aware of the existence of a double standard for childless workers. They had, in fact, noticed it for some time. "The issue of childless workers is a major shortcoming in company policies," confirms Giorgio M. Ghezzi, Aeronautics Company's career, learning and development manager and author of No, We Have No Children - Love in Time of 'infertility' (Bookabook, foreword by Professor Carlo Flamigni, former president of the Italian Association of Fertility and Infertility), an essay in which he talks about paternity and its implications for work and life. had noticed it for some time. "The issue of childless workers is a major shortcoming in company policies," confirms Giorgio M. Ghezzi, Aeronautics Company's career, learning and development manager and author of No, We Have No Children - Love in Time of 'infertility' (Bookabook, foreword by Professor Carlo Flamigni, former president of the Italian Association of Fertility and Infertility), an essay in which he talks about paternity and its implications for work and life. had noticed it for some time. "The issue of childless workers is a major shortcoming in company policies," confirms Giorgio M. Ghezzi, Aeronautics Company's career, learning and development manager and author of No, We Have No Children - Love in Time of 'infertility' (Bookabook, foreword by Professor Carlo Flamigni, former president of the Italian Association of Fertility and Infertility), an essay in which he talks about paternity and its implications for work and life.

At the root of silence

However, the number of childless workers is much higher than that of other minorities who have gained space in the spotlight of current issues. "LGBTQ workers are 10% of the total, childless workers are double," said Julia Fominova, a woman with a career in legal counseling and now the founder of Human Rocks, an awareness-raising group at the crossroads of parenting, failure and work. At the heart of the problem is first and foremost a short circuit of communication. "In Italian there is no word to indicate a person who has no children. "Orbo was once used, a term that indicates a physical injury, and that already makes us think," adds Ghezzi. In English, it's simpler, for a suffix suffices to understand whether it is a choice the fact that a person is childless or a condition in which the person has no physical possibility of having a child. The fact that reproduction is related to sexuality also contributes to the veil of silence that dominates our workspaces. "Taboos create an invisible boundary that separates those who have children from those who do not have children. The prevailing opinion is that if you do not have children, it means two things: that you will have them and if you do not have them, it is because you do not love them and therefore there is no problem ", the manager continues. Option C, that non-parenting is an involuntary condition not part of the equation, gives itself painful misunderstandings. "Parenting failure is an unacceptable loss, because you can not lose something you have never had," says Fominova. A condition that affects even those who have a child but may have difficulty expanding the family, another topic that is strongly overlooked. "We almost feel lost because we are not able to achieve a goal like everyone else. Moreover, talking about these losses is impossible because our society has a phobia of pain and therefore the invitation is to wait for it to pass. "But he never left and in silence the loss is felt even more", explains Fominova.

In praise of the exit

For those who take courage together and go out, there is an additional risk to face. Colleagues who tell you: "Blessed are you who do not have children, so do not worry. Or, "Without children, you can travel as much as you want." "The range of phrases we hear is disturbing and endless," Fominova said. For men things are even more complicated. "It's a gender issue. "When suffering is known, it seems to be a female prerogative, as if we, the lost fathers, were not acquainted with the pain of a situation that worries life and the couple", Ghezzi emphasizes. Here, too, a cultural fact comes into play: “A man is not expected to talk about it or declare his sufferings. "The expectations of the role are still very strong, we are victims of a culture with a macho heritage." Moreover, in a pronatalist culture, children "communicate" as if they were a kind of trophy. "Workers without children feel the weight of the stigma. "The fact that they are supposed to be available, that they want to tour during the holidays, are subtle forms of discrimination that translate into less synergy with colleagues and lower quality of work," notes Fominova.

A stone in the pond

However, breaking the silence is possible. "In my experience halfway between a person living in this situation, I discovered that the moment you start talking about it, it's like throwing a stone into a pond: the waves never stop. People want to know about your story. and begin to show theirs.

Business organizations can do a lot. "First of all, they can recognize these situations, create a psychologically secure communication climate that allows workers without children to feel welcome," suggests Daniela Di Ciaccio, co-founder of 2BHappy Agency and co-author with Veruscka Gennari. of the book "Chief Happiness Officer: The future belongs to positive organizations" (Franco Angeli). Accelerating empathy not only helps childless workers, but also those who have children. "We should all feel appreciated and known for our specifics. "Only from the growth and inclusion of any diversity can trust, mutual support, inclusion and innovation be born," suggests Di Ciaccio. When in doubt or waiting for ad hoc business initiatives, simply ask your colleagues politely: "

Stefania Medetti

Tiranapost.al