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The Trump Effect: Women in the Workplace and the wider world - A female CEO's view

Posted on 24th January 2017

Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday 20th January 2017 has made history for the wrong reasons; there is no doubt about that. His ‘swearing in’ saw a worldwide uproar in the form of Women’s rights protests throughout the United States and across the world, an estimated 4.8 million in all, with more than 100,000 people in London alone! The Women’s March 2017 demonstrations were aimed at Donald Trump, standing against his seemingly sexist statements and positions. In fact, more women marched than people attended Trump's inauguration. 

A word from our CEO on Donald Trump and the new President of the United States of America:

“ Donald Trump’s actions have brought back in to the limelight, and back to the forefront of world news, the issue of women’s rights. I’ve noticed that it’s making us as a community really question how we could have made so much progress over the last twenty to thirty years, to then face someone who calls his campaign manager ‘babe’, talks about his own child, Ivanka, with sexual undertones, and is repeatedly derogatory towards women. The Maine Group is 30 years old this year and through this time, we have seen changes in attitudes towards women and their roles in the workplace. We have predominantly recruited women into our client’s world and into our own.  We’ve witnessed the move from the ‘traditional’ 1980’s Secretary to the now Executive Assistants and Guest Relations Officers and seen how each metaphorical glass ceiling is being shattered; but the issue of women’s rights still challenges us today, with sexist dress codes of many institutions being debated by MPs as we speak[1]! The issue of the gender pay gap is also at the forefront of the equality conversation, it even featured in our Employment Law Forum held this week on Hot Topics for 2017, but we are addressing these issues - Gender Pay Gap Reporting is becoming compulsory, with the first reports based on 2016/17 data.

How can you have a world where on the one hand we’re talking about and working to improve the number of women in most senior positions in business– Female CEOs and Board Members in FTSE 500 and Global 500 companies - and on the other hand, have the new ‘Leader of the Free World’ dismissing women completely; he doesn’t seem to think we bring any value at all.

He may argue that we are misinterpreting and misconstruing his words, but all evidence of what he actually stands for and what he says across his social media platforms – notably the notorious @realDonaldTrump Twitter account - and the YouTube videos of old rearing their heads, all of these point to a very misogynistic mindset.

This is his first full week as president; let’s hope that when he really understands the impact of his role and position that he will be more considered in his approach.

If anything, it means that we will have to ensure that what we stand for here in London, which is one of the most advanced and forward thinking cities in the world, is maintained and continually progressed. We have to work hard to make sure that we don’t allow those prejudices to contaminate our world.

As recruiters and as an industry where we can truly influence employers’ perceptions, we must take care to guarantee that it’s not gender bias but ones’ quality and merit that brings people to the table. At The Maine Group, we insist that the culture fit is paramount to a successful hire.

It’s important to remember that no matter what the role, whether a Post-Room Assistant, Receptionist, Senior HR Advisor, or President of the United States, the job specification must take the person specification into account. ”