Adele Blair, Founder and Managing Director of The Concierge Collective contributes a guest post based on her extensive experience providing concierge services to time poor executives. Her commentary is enlightening around our collective unconscious bias around who this work typically falls to in a relationship. And what default language both women and men still use when describing household duties, which reinforces gender stereotypes.
I am often challenged by the phrase of “I need a wife”.
This is a frequent reaction to our services and a sentiment expressed by those describing our services – aaarrrgh. Worse still a phrase uttered primarily by women, however men stray into this area too.
Just last week when I was describing The Concierge Collective‘s services to a very senior gentleman at a top-tier national firm, he said ‘oh I’ll tell my wife about this she’ll love it”. To which I replied “don’t you have any domestic responsibility or do you delegate everything to your wife?” #boom
By default, this language transfers all domestic responsibilities to wives. Sorry did we teleport back to 1950?
If women are seeking gender equality why are we still talking as though the ‘wife’ is the person who has the responsibility for domestic chores, personal administration management, childcare, events planning, social schedule, health care … need I go on?
I know I am echoing the views expressed in Annabel Crabb’s book “The Wife Drought” where she says “it’s a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it’s not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It’s a potent economic asset on the work front. And it’s an advantage enjoyed – even in our modern society – by vastly more men than women. But why is the work-and-family debate always about women? Why don’t men get the same flexibility that women do? In our fixation on the barriers that face women on the way into the workplace, do we forget about the barriers that – for men – still block the exits?”
The lack of time required to take care of things at home is relevant to everyone in the household and therefore should be a shared responsibility.
Perhaps a change in our language to match our modern lifestyles is a tiny step forward to addressing our ‘time drought’.
Adele Blair is Founder and Managing Director of The Concierge Collective, one of Australia’s leading concierge companies.
The Concierge Collective enables time poor clients to simply regain time to live and enjoy other aspects of their lives. They specialise in managing the space between client’s personal to do list and selecting vendors, task execution and completion.