Time is money, indeed. Increasingly that means that the time spent commuting is being viewed as time employers demand that we aren’t getting paid for, that we could be getting paid for from freelance efforts if we didn’t have to commute.
There’s a lot of talk coming from organizations about their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Too many of them create opportunities that don’t match those words. Office jobs that require workers to be in one place, at the same time, all the time, are inhernetly not as diverse as they could be. Companies that require all of their employees to travel for team events are not as inclusive as they could be. Companies that only hire consultants who will travel to them in peron are not as inclusive as they could be.
Certain jobs require some of these things, but many jobs where the organization requires it can just as easily be done without those requirements. When they do that, they’re not matching what they say about DE&I. They are clearly emphasizing their preferences over their commitment.
What Sherri talks about in regards to the security industry is something I’m seeing over and over again when reading about diversity. The child care question.
Let me share another resource on the topic with you. In December, there was an episode of People I Mostly Admire with Claudia Goldin, where she talked about the concept of “Greedy work”.
The topic she was chatting about was the gender pay gap and how much child care contributes to it, and one of the reasons we have a gender pay cap, aside from the percentage that is actually discrimination, is that greedy work doesn’t account for child care, but it pays more. So in many families, they have to make a choice between less pay and the flexibility to equally share the child care. The economics of that don’t usually make sense, so one parent takes on the greedy work to maximize the family income while the other steps back to a more flexible role in order to provide the majority of child care. With social norms being what they are, and the other issues that contribute to a gender pay gap, that most often means the man in a heterosexual couple, and here we are with women being vastly underrepresented in these types of positions.
Let’s face it, we all have things that we haven’t had space for in the last couple of years. If you are holding off on using PTO because you can’t make the big travel adventure happen right now, why not use that time to create that space? Personally, we had a couple of weeks in October scheduled for an anniversary trip overseas that has since been canceled. I haven’t canceled the PTO for one simple reason, I still want to use those 2 weeks to create the space, mentally, to do some of the things I’ve been too busy to do, like figure out where I actually want my career to go instead of just doing the work that’s in front of me, or indulge in some of those hobbies that have fallen by the wayside, or maybe even try and catch up with some friends virtually.
We all need that space, and it keeps getting harder and harder to find it. There’s nothing wrong with doing the work that is in front of us, professionally and personally. Frankly, if you can keep going and getting those things done in this environment, you are to be commended. On the other hand, just doing that prevents us from making changes and doing things differently. It keeps us stuck, and I know far too many people who are stuck right now, waiting for the space to make changes.
Make that space, any way you can. Give yourself the PTO you deserve.