One Man’s Perspective: Working in a Business Where Women are the Majority

This past week was National Business Women’s Week, a week meant to honor and call attention to female entrepreneurs and other working women.  VIM & VIGR happens to be a company in which women hold the majority, so as National Business Women’s Week comes to an end, we wanted to take this opportunity to interview one of our male employees, Edgar Garvin (Fulfillment Manager), and get his perspective on VIM & VIGR’s unique position as well as the current atmosphere of and future for working women.

Here at VIM & VIGR, I feel like we’re in a pretty unique position in that the majority of our employees, including the founder herself, are women, rather than it being the other way around. As one of the few men employed, I was wondering whether you’ve noticed any differences working here vs previous jobs you’ve had as a result of that?

For myself I’d say that I haven’t noticed much difference because I’ve been working in other fields that have a large women workforce as well, like pharmacy and hotels, so I’ve got a lot of experience doing that. Even some of the manufacturing jobs I’ve had have actually had an unusually large women workforce, so I feel that personally I am very comfortable with that. I haven’t personally noticed a huge difference. I think what makes the bigger difference in what I perceive here vs other places is just the start-up work culture.

There are a lot of strong personalities here. What’s it like for you, being surrounded by women who aren’t afraid to speak up and share their opinions and ideas?

 I think it’s great because I can actually be somebody who’s more reserved. I do tend to pick my moments to step up and speak up a little more vocally when I think it’s particularly important, but there are a lot of people here who have valuable experience. So I work very hard to just listen and take as much away from that as I possibly can.

I’m not sure there’s a way to begin this next question more tactfully, but as someone who isn’t directly affected by typical gender discrimination in the workplace, are there things you’ve noticed in your current or previous jobs that still need fixing with regard to the needs and treatment of working women?

I absolutely do! You know, particularly in pharmacy, I’ve seen a lot of pay gap and things like that, so there’s definitely a lot of work still needed there. I’ve been fortunate to live in some areas of the world where maybe that’s not as big of an issue, but certainly there’s a lot of work to still be done.

Currently, business is still considered to be a male dominated field in that typically, businesses are begun by men, with the top positions being held by men as well, while women often hold more secretarial positions. Right now, there’s definitely a movement towards better gender equality, so with that in mind, do you see this business norm changing any time soon?

 I am optimistic, but I don’t know if I have enough data to say that’s definitely where we’re going. You know, I’ve been working since I was very young, and I’ve seen a change in that, but it also has to do with where I’ve been living at that time. Again, I would really hope we’re moving in that direction, and I really hope I manage my team in that way. I’m not perfect and I know that I make mistakes, but I actually have a very feminist partner and she definitely pushes me in that direction and tries to open my eyes to those things. As far as what’s going on, I think we can look at our current situation as a country and understand that we still have a long way to go, but I do think it’s something that gets better.  

My last question is just whether you have any last words you’d like to add  — anything I haven’t touched on or anything you want to expand on?

As it relates to women in the workforce as a whole, like I said, I’d like to see continued improvement in that and I’d like to invest my own efforts into that movement. I think that being at VIM & VIGR and seeing all of this very positive female leadership and female ingenuity and enterprise is really good for any young woman who wants to get involved and I think that there just needs to be more opportunities like that in the world.

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