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Correlation between planning directors and ...

Dan

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... facial hair! A fellow planner pointed it out to me today, and reflecting on it, I thought ... you know, a disproportionately large amount of those in charge of municipal and county planning agencies have moustaches, beards and/or both. (Excepting women, of course.)

So, look at your fellow planners. Does the amount of facial hair increase with rank?
 
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Hmm, maybe we should do a poll, because my last two planning directors were indeed sporting the facial hair!
 

Mary

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I have noticed this and I've seen at least one case where it's getting worse. It seems that almost 50% of the planners are women but when I was in Washington State I went the the planning directors' conference two years, the first year there was about one woman for every five men, the second year it was more like one to eight and at least one of the women there was a consultant there by invitation. Most of the women at the conferences were like me (planning directors in communities so small that they had one to three planners.) Mine had one... ME.

When I left that job they hired a man with no planning experience at all. So the numbers continue to get worse.
 

Chet

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I agree

But in my experience, don't exclude the women...
 

Dan

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Mary wrote:
When I left that job they hired a man with no planning experience at all. So the numbers continue to get worse.
Slight hijack ... I've noticed that there's far more women in private practice, or at least working in the private sector, than in local government. Good for them ... they're making more money. Bad for me ... conflict of interest if ... well, you know, nd in such a small town that's about the only time I see other women. :(

The PD at my previous job (city of ~300,000) was a very talented and focused woman who definitely earned the respect of others in city government. She's been there for about eight or nine years so far ... pretty respectable in a place that historically churned through PDs every couple of years.
 
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I agree with Dan about women planners in consulting. At least single women planners. Once they get married and start thinking about families, it seems to me that we all hike it over to government because consulting is just so un- family friendly. And now that I think about it, I don't know more than maybe two women planners who are over the age of 35.
 

Mary

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The over 35 set does exist but you are right with a family I would not want to work for a consultant. The government is far more understanding when you say you've got to get a little time off to take the kid to the doctor. Still the number of directors positions filled with women vs. men is depressing. Even in the consulting firms I know of a number of firms but I can only think of two who are being run by women.
 
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Off the top of my head I can think of two PD's that are women. Well, one is Ec.Dev, but consulting? Nope. We don't have kids yet, but that is the reason I left consulting. I just could not imagine working a 10 hour day, with an extra 1 1/2 hours spent in traffic, and having a baby that still isn't sleeping through the night. I don't know how people do it.
 

Tranplanner

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I think maybe the size of the city has something to do with the ratio of male/female planners?

The Commisioner of Urban Development Services is a woman,
and we have a pretty good mix here in the City Planning Division, although out of 25 odd transportation planning staff I think there are only 3 women - funnily enough, two of them are District Managers, and the other is a Senior Planner. A vacant Program manager position was also most recently held down by a woman.

The director of Transportation Planning has a full beard.
 

HilaryP

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I contradict most of the generalizations that have been made in this thread so far: female over 35, with kids, in consulting, boss has beard. My dh who works for local government (also a planner) has a PD with no facial hair.

Go figure ... :)

Hilary
 

adaptor

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While the PD here is a clean shaven man of color, many of the would-bes are bearded white guys who have been around the City for most of their careers. One grew a moustache when he started teaching at the University. '70s holdovers and liberal intelectuals? Who knows.

I interviewed once for a job where the PD was a woman who was promoted from the ranks. I was introduced to her staff, which consisted of a bunch of guys about my age who looked just like me: pale & bearded with glasses. I imagined (after I didn't get the job) that a string of identical looking applicants streamed in and the stand-out woman -- or at least beardless -- candidate got hired if for no better reason than visual relief.
 

Dan

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rustbelt wrote:
I interviewed once for a job where the PD was a woman who was promoted from the ranks. I was introduced to her staff, which consisted of a bunch of guys about my age who looked just like me: pale & bearded with glasses. I imagined (after I didn't get the job) that a string of identical looking applicants streamed in and the stand-out woman -- or at least beardless -- candidate got hired if for no better reason than visual relief.
Several years ago, I had an interview for a planning job with the City of Las Vegas. It was a conference interview -- me at the end of the table, with about five or six different staff members. All of 'em were women.

Being a single guy, one of my strange "rules of being a planner" is "the attractive female planners never work in the department where you're employed." Always been that way, and it will always will be that way. Now, I'm the sole planner here ... and there's a cutie in the two-planner department the next town over.



See that guy on the right? That's not me. I'm not the one on the left, either.



See that? Those are probably going to be my co-workers at my next job.

(Yes, the images are all of real planners.)
 

adaptor

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rustbelt, that article was tremendous.

Dan, you need to be hitting the planning conference circuit. The women there are:
a) professionals
b) understand your job
c) extremely excited at the prospect of not having to be at the office for 2 days and ready for fun.

Or, if you ever move back to Buffalo, I've got the perfect girl for you!
 

Dan

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Sometimes I think Dan started Cyburbia as a way to meet women...
If I did, it's not working.

:(

rustbelt wrote:
By the way, is the Mr. Natural avatar indicative of your beard?
Great article, by the way. When I lived in Denver, my neighborhood was evolving into ground zero for the city's lesbian population.* My apartment complex in Orlando, before I bought the house, was populated mainly by gay "cast members." * The suburb I live in now is considered "geographically undesirable" among Orlando-area women, because it's not in the I-4 corridor where most of them live. Where they are, I'm not.


Parking lot at Highlands Village, West 32nd Avenue in Denver

As for looking like Mr. Natural ... well, there's a picture of me on the Town Web site. Mr. Beard-Grows-Fast-So-He-Has-To-Shave-Twice-On-Days-That-He-Has-A-Night-Meeting, maybe




* Not that there's anything wrong with that ... :)
 
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