During a discussion of candidates for an upcoming club election, a member objects to one candidate on the grounds that she’s a mother of young children and wouldn’t have the time to commit to Rotary. What would you do?
Every month, Rotary magazine showcases answers to an ethical question that members might face in their Rotary or Rotaract clubs. Share your suggestions below to be included in a future issue.
5 thoughts on “Ethical dilemma discussion: What would you do?”
I would explain to that objecting Rotarian that it’s 2021 and women can walk and chew gum at the same time. How degrading it is when any Rotarian is looked upon as a “second class” member.
I would have an open conversation about the concerns with both people in the room attending. This isn’t about the woman being a second class member, it’s about fellow Rotarians being caring. Many of us are overloaded with all our other commitments, and it’s a fair question to ask her (or any Rotarian), whether they have the capacity to take on the tasks, and if the wheels fall off, what contingencies do we need to put in place to be supportive.
I believe if you look to the 4 Way Test – you will see that this type of comment/objection is speculation and would not pass the 1st question. It would also open discussion as to what the time requirement is for the position and that there are plenty of things that can occupy our time.
Once a consensus is in place on what the time commitment is, then you can ask a potential candidate – A. If they are actually interested in the position and B. Is there anything that would preclude them from fulfilling their responsibilities.
We should never assume we know someone’s ability, interest, or challenges.
I would ask the person whether he would have the same problem if this was not about a woman but a man with young children. It would be good to make clear to the person that this is discrimination based on gender and that there is no place for that within Rotary.
My suggestion is that our fellow Rotarian discusses his doubts about time management with the mother before making an objection.