Liz Marchi: Manners, the Masters and Equal Pay

By LIZ MARCHI

Two weeks ago I had the good fortune of being in Butte, Montana with a number of women I love, admire and respect.  It was a joint event of the Montana Women’s’ Foundation and the Governor’s Equal Pay Task Force.  I have long been a supporter of the Montana Women’s Foundation.  Generously seeded in the early 2000’s by a $500,000 match challenge from the Chambers Family Foundation in Denver, the foundation’s mission is the economic independence of Women and Girls.   All the data around the world shows us that when women and girls prosper, communities thrive.  Merle Chambers is a successful oil and gas attorney who gives generously to many causes including  education and economic prosperity for women.

That Friday evening at Montana Tech was an inspirational time of speakers, networking and conversations with other women about issues surrounding entrepreneurship, negotiating, climbing the corporate ladder and work life issues.  We  were all excited and decided to meet up at the Finlin Hotel Bar afterwards to continue our conversations.

7645237_sIt’s 2015.  I was ASTOUNDED to find men in the bar interrupting our conversations and “hitting” on some of the younger women (and some of the over 50 women).  It was truly ridiculous.  Stupid questions like, “Are you man haters?, Do you like to talk to men? What are you doing here?”RUDE.

I spent the last two weeks in Alabama with my Mom and Dad who are wonderful but traditional sort of folks.  Dad, a great golfer, revels in the holy week of the Master’s Tournament.  I’ve e always had mixed feelings about Augusta National.  It’s been the temple of men.  However, it also represents the ultimate in good manners, grace, a crowd that is reverent (the patrons) and a true respect for the remarkable talent of the golfers and the beauty of what the built environment can be, Augusta National Golf Course.

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My dad. He’s a classic…and a classact.

Good manners matter for women and for men.  The gains that women have made in earning and work do NOT mean that mean can behave badly.  Both men and women should respect each other for their talents, accomplishments and aspirations.  Manners should not be an issue of gender or class, they should be foundational in the way we interact with each other at work, in play and in our homes.

Be on notice, hitting on women is unwelcome and exhibits the worst in manners.  Sexist comments and jokes are NOT funny.  Let’s all work on a facial expression that says, respect me and appreciate my contributions to work, families and the community.

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Liz-MarchiLiz Marchi lives on a ranch in Polson, Montana  with her husband Jon. She is the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund and spends a lot of time thinking and learning about entrepreneurs, the economy and Montana’s unique place in the world. She has three daughters and a stepson and daughter and a grandchild.  She graduated from Hollins College and is entering the final quarter of life…unless we go intoovertime.