If Your Office Is Cold, Blame the Men

The temperature in your office is just one more piece of evidence that, as Francis Rios says, “companies were created by men for men.”

Walk into an office when the A/C is on and you’ll find the women in sweaters and the men in shirt-sleeves. Why? Because the “ideal” office temperature was determined decades ago based on studies of men.

Speaking to a DisruptHR audience in Orlando last September, Rios used that as a metaphor for women’s struggle for working life equality. While the battle of the thermostat has yet to be decided, Rios issued a call to arms, pointing out where women should take a stand.

At home, women make most of the buying decisions, Rios notes: “From the groceries to the underwear men wear… So how come that even though 85% of [those consumers] are women, we don’t have them in the top tiers of the organizations?”

“If we really want to move the needle, we need to have women assigned to each one of the succession lines of the company,” she says. Change how the company communicates — what it says in its job postings and in its branding.

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Rios’ 5 minutes are a rallying cry, motivating HR to start moving needles, both figuratively, and when it comes to the office thermostat, literally.

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