Sexist any? City worker hires consultant to explain how to work with women


By Latina

The City of Austin has once again proven its liberal, progressive reputation to be false by holding a training seminar for city employees on how to work with a majority female city council because, apparently, women are a great mystery ruled like tides by the moon. Last year, Austin elected its first-ever majority female council with seven of the 10 council members being women. Something most people hadn’t noticed until this story broke.

The Austin City Manager, Marc Ott, thought that employees might need a little help navigating this change. Which is funny when you watch the tape of the actual training because the majority of employees in the audience are women. One speaker in particular, former City Manager of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida Jonathan Allen, raised the hackles of women and progressive-thinking people everywhere with some of his pointers on working with women that sound like they’re straight out of an episode of Mad Men. Allen previously worked with an all-female city commission in Lauderdale Lakes and, apparently, someone at the City Manager’s office thought that this uniquely qualified him to teach people how to work with women. (Never mind that he was recently fired by that majority female council.)

So, what did Allen’s anecdotal experience teach him about working with women? Some highlights:

01: Talking to women is the same as talking to girls.

Allen compared working with women to explaining things to his 11-year-old daughter. “In a matter of 15 seconds, I got 10 questions that I had to patiently respond to,” Allen told the audience of one recent car ride with his daughter, using it as an example of how women ask a lot more questions in the workplace.

02: Women don’t read.

Allen added that women ask all these darn questions rather than read the background information you gave them in the agenda.

03: Women are not interested in finances.

“They don’t process things at the same way,” Allen said, adding that he used to put the financial analysis of a given decision on the cover of agendas for his male elected officials. “How would it occur when I went to a female-dominated commission?” he asked the audience. “Where normally I would present the financial argument,” he said, “My elected officials said, ‘Mr. Manager, I don’t want to hear about the financial argument. I want to hear how this effects the overall community.’”

Austin City Council members were unaware of the training, which happened on March 27th of this year, until the story broke in Austin this past Tuesday. The following day, most of the council members, (except for the one who tried to appoint a woman who thinks we need less Hispanic elected officials), attended a press conference saying they were “shocked, appalled and speechless.”

“The characterization of women not having an interest in financial arguments, asking too many questions and requiring different interactions than men is unacceptable,” said Austin City Council Member Delia Garza at the press conference held yesterday. Garza, a firefighter-turned-lawyer, is also the first Latina to be elected to Austin’s city council.

Austin City Manager Marc Ott apologized to the councilmembers for the remarks made at the training, saying he takes full responsibility for the error. Then he put one of his assistant city managers on leave. Way to take responsibility, Marc.

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One Response to Sexist any? City worker hires consultant to explain how to work with women

  1. Aletheia says:

    Jon Allen is a total fraud and not qualified to be an expert or consultant in anything! He has exploited the NFBPA for years for out-of-state travel to worthless events like the Austin training, which was arranged by his buddy and fellow NFBPA Board member, Anthony Snipes! But the good news is that Allen was fired from his job in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida shortly after his freebie trip to Austin and Snipes was forced to tender his resignation!

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