They say that HR and politics don’t mix. That might be true.
Before I took my hiatus, a friend offered unsolicited feedback. The Presidential elections are heating up in America. He told me that my pro-choice views might cause companies in the HR technology industry to think twice before working with me.
I was advised of the following.
- “Politics makes the HR audience uncomfortable. Drop it.”
- “Your pro-choice values are divisive, at best, and offensive to about half of your target market.”
- “Abortion has nothing to do with HR.”
He was pretty clear. It’s okay to make fun of Donald Trump without pushing too hard, but if I want to work as an advisor, I should think like a savvy marketer and portray myself differently.
“Things are going well for you, Laurie. Your name is everywhere. I’d stick to cats.”
Yeah, man. That’s a lot right there. So much rage, which is why a summer break from my industry was a good thing.
Now that I’m back, I guess I don’t like my career that much because I’m still tweeting about how I support abortion on demand and without apology.
Very simply, I trust women.
I trust women to run companies.
I trust women to run families.
I trust women with their bodies at all stages of pregnancy.
You either trust someone, or you don’t.
You may not agree with me, but — and I say this with as much sincerity as I can muster — I don’t care. I know abortion makes some people uncomfortable. It might make you uncomfortable as a reader, and I can see how you might believe that a blog or Twitter account that focuses on HR doesn’t really need to discuss abortion rights and reproductive freedom in America.
But if you don’t trust a woman to make educated decisions about her body, how can you trust her to make tough decisions under complex circumstances in your company? If you don’t trust her to think logically during intensely emotional times, how can she lead your company? And if she doesn’t have a shot at leading your company, how can you say that you believe in equal opportunity?
More importantly, if I wanted to be bossed around by people with dissenting opinions, I’d still have a traditional job in human resources. And while I might be boxing myself out of some assignments by expressing my beliefs, I’m okay with that. I gave up a good career in HR (well, debatable) to be the boss of my own fate.
I also know that I work with plenty of people who hold opposing viewpoints on everything from abortion to taxes who are reasonable and thoughtful human beings. So I’m not too worried.
And, now that I’m back from hiatus, I’m even less inclined to accept unsolicited advice. You can’t tell me anything, dear colleagues, especially when it comes to a woman’s right to choose. Most opinions don’t change on this topic, so don’t even try.