Tuesday 1 June 2021

Don't be too delicate girls. Payment is not a dirty word

[This is a reprint of my featured article on Linkedin as at December 2021]

I thought people joined Linkedin because they meant business. So I'm amazed that business people are constantly inviting me to their events without mentioning payment, as if mentioning payment was so indelicate as to be taboo.How did we become so coy?

How did we become persuaded that it was indelicate to mention money in job interviews? Who benefits from such delicacy? Not work-seekers, that's for sure. If the would-be recruiter doesn't make the offer transparent, the seeker is immediately wrong-footed as if "greedy" if they raise this fundamental question.

This is especially so if we happen to be in a "caring" or "social justice" profession. Mostly women, no? It is then assumed that we are happy to give away your intellectual property for the sake of saving everyone else (except ourselves).

Workers in the sector are already struggling and have the same bills to pay as our employers. That's why I aim to raise the issue in all future requests for my services as I hope everyone who reads this will agree that it is a social justice issue to be similarly upfront.

What I do is actually work. Hard work, based not just on “lived experience”, but on my years of academic study, my early career as a neurominority woman in IT, my foundation and key role in many voluntary community groups both local and autistic, including co-founding and establishing Sydneys first independent social club for Autistic teenagers, still thriving after 20 years .

So do not ask me or any other ND activist for a “coffee” so you can “pick our brains”.

And BTW I am one of the 35% of Australian women who retired with nothing but the paltry age pension to sustain us after a lifetime of work and caring. My autistic adult child and I live in tumble down public housing run by a negligent neoliberal govt who uses every opportunity to vilify us, while leaving our homes to rot.