City employees in Austin, Texas, were given training on how to “deal with” women that included being told to expect women to ask more questions, talk longer, and make decisions based on emotion rather than fact, the Austin Statesman is reporting.
For the first time in the city’s history, the Austin city government is now female-dominated, with seven women and four men occupying its 11 top spots. Apparently, the City Manager’s office took this to mean that city employees would need special training in what to expect now that women are in charge. So two “experts” — a (male) politician from a small Florida city whose “expertise” consists of the fact that his city also had a women-dominated government, and a (female) business development consultant — were brought in to tell Austin’s city employees what to expect from their new estrogen-bearing bosses.
Much of the “training” was found rather offensive by Austin’s new female City Council members, according to Community Impact. Some of the more interesting points in the training include the following.
- Women like to ask a lot of questions.
- Women like to talk a lot more, and for a lot longer.
- Women don’t like to think about financial problems.
- Women tend to make decisions based on emotion, rather than facts.
- Women are getting more into government than ever before, because Hillary.
District 2 Councilwoman Delia Garza was not amused.
“When I learned last night about a training to get our city staff familiar with ‘dealing’ with female council members I was a combination of shocked, appalled and speechless. The characterization of women as not having an interest in financial arguments, asking too many questions and requiring different interactions is unacceptable.”
District 10 Councilwoman Gallo didn’t care for the notion that women ask more questions, saying that as a leader, it’s her job to ask questions.
“Yes, women ask questions. All of the council members are asking questions regardless of their gender. Effective leaders ask questions then they evaluate and develop real solutions listen to the answers based on the information they’ve received.”
Even City Manager Marc Ott, who organized the training, admits that it was offensive, even if his heart was in the right place. He claimed that the training was intended to promote diversity rather than stereotypes. Further, he said that being a black man himself, he, too, has been victimized by stereotypes.
Because the Austin city employees who attended the training weren’t given the chance to provide feedback about the training, it’s unclear, as of this post, whether the rank-and-file employees found the training offensive or helpful.
[Image courtesy of: Shutterstock/docent]