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  • Writer's pictureKajsa Silow

The world's fifth equal country

Updated: Jan 20, 2019

"I, who live and work with adventures, often hear that I'm "tough" and "brave", but who says that to a man who heads out in the mountain to put up a tent?"

The world's fifth most equal country.

If I'd list everything that I have on my cv but was a man my situation would probably be completely different, both in the industry as a design engineer and in the adventure business as an adventurer and guide. A countless amount of times I've been discriminated by salary, competence and socially - both by men and women. The same amount of times I've pushed uphills, fought through upwinds, been extorted, threatened and diminished. And the same amount of times that buster next to me who plays soduko at work has gotten higher salary and more backslaps than me. And there I am, with a passion an will power that makes people around me wonder if I have some sort of hyperactive disorder, a cv that would make many people fall off their chair, an iq that is far above average, and deliver work that gets honored with prizes and helps companies get investment money, all while existing in an environment that makes me feel useless.

And just as many times I've chosen to leave. This time for a job as a breakfast hostess with coins for salary. On weekends. No overtime compensation. When I more likely "should" be a good deal above average salary for a design engineer if I were a man, and "should" be respected and not questioned all the time for my competence as an adventurer and expedition guide. But I never leave to give up, but to set free some time for myself to work with that change that's needed in our society in general. I'll never quit, just work in other ways with other people. Starting up Adventure Stories is one example, where I hope we can continue be part of that change in norms that we want, or as freelancing design engineer where I get to boss my own time and still have colleagues.

How did it end up this way?

To be honest, I'll never accept just adjusting to unwritten rules that only exist by tradition, to be part of an unhealthy hierarchy, to pour honey on self-declared queens' and kings' own conservative wills just because I want to work with my passion. There are always gonna be other, better ways. Sometime you just have to create them yourself. Moreover, I don't wanna work for or be part of companies that discriminate by mindless routines. Where values I don't support are held quiet and gets forgotten since so many don't want to or care for talking about the existing unspoken conflicts that infects at least half the people in the office or who are willing to adjust to the norms behind the walls just to save their own jobs. Either if it's put out in the open, or quiet. No matter which, it's the daily actions that are the ones that will lead to change. I rather be that person who gets smashed by doing something about it, by acting towards a more inspirational and better workplace for all, while big companies just sit and watch since it's "too expensive" or "too time consuming" to make those tiny changes that are needed to gain big positive results. I don't wanna support actions that make me and other people feel bad. I want both me and other people to never have a "Monday" for the wrong reasons.

A job can be even more than just dreamy, it can be magical. But if you get to pay with your tears it's never worth it. It's more important for me to surround myself with people who lift each other, laugh, support and give love, whichever job I may have. I'm not just gonna accept being seen as smaller and less competent just because I'm a woman, blonde, kind, sympathetic, don't like to show off and get my competence devalued just because I like sitting in places where I can focus instead of noisy open-plan offices or rather wear tights than outdoor pants when adventuring. It's weird how the world still unconsciously or knowingly value "competence by clothes, manners or gender". Don't we know more than that?

And what does "fifth most equal country" mean, that if you reached that goal you can lean back and say "we're one of the top five in the world".

(Attn. I don't point this text to specific companies. I just inform what I've seen, heard and experienced that have made me and other people itch and pull their hairs).

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