Manager's post goes viral after banning mum from working part-time - for all the right reasons

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty Photo: Getty Images

A manager, who told one of his employees that she can't move from full-time to part-time work, has gone viral with his Twitter post.

Surprisingly, his decision was made for all the right reasons.

Aaron Genest, an applications engineer manager and president of the board for technology company, SaskTech, shared the moment a mum who works for him asked if she would be able to move change ger working conditions to part-time.

The post has since been retweeted almost 2000 times with over 6000 likes.

"An employee came to me last week and asked to move to 80 per cent time," He wrote in the Twitter thread. "Her husband, she said, was taking on some extra responsibility and they were having trouble keeping the kids on track during remote learning. I said no."

Upon first glance, it may see as though Genest is being unreasonable with his response, but as you read the thread, you realise that's not the case.

"Women in the workplace have been disproportionately affected by COVID, erasing decades of gains. And it's easy to see why when women typically earn less (even for the same jobs) than their partners," he continued in the thread, saying it's unattainable to expect people to be expected to achieve the same levels of productivity as they did pre-COVID; particularly with many parents still home-schooling and working from home.

"I have a high-performing team who outperformed themselves again this year, outperforming almost every other team in my company in fact and winning awards for it," he continued. "They did it with kids at home, with COVID isolation, and with increased stress and loneliness."

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"They didn't do it by working 9 to 5 or putting 40 hours of tracked time in during the week," he said, listing ways his team still managed to achieve results, despite the last 12 months being highly disruptive.

"They didn't do it by shutting their door and not seeing their kids or by using every moment of Zoom calls for work," he pointed out. "They did it by being a supportive group and working together."

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty Photo: Getty Images

"When someone has to leave to pick up their kids, someone else covers," he explained. "When a two-year-old bounces into a business call, they smile and everyone understands. When a day is less productive because they can't stand staring at the walls anymore, they get out so the next one is better." 

Aaron told the woman no, because he doesn't believe she shouldn't have to sacrifice her career to take care of her family.

"No, you can't become one of the women earning less because of COVID," he said. "No, you can't sacrifice your career advancement because of a perceived lack of productivity. No, you don't need to feel guilty about taking the time to make sure your kids are learning."

Instead, he worked with the woman to come up with a solution that suits all parties.

"We're working together to make sure that she's still productive and happy, that she feels comfortable blocking off whatever time she needs in her calendar to support her family," he explained, before encouraging other bosses work with their teams as much as they can and a the very least, at least listen to their employees.

"Let me encourage anyone with the power to do so to deny this change," he urged. "Work with your team from within, above, or below to support the people struggling through this."