About.com, Male vs Female MTs

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About.com, Male vs Female MTs

Post by boofdorf » Wed Feb 27, 2008 2:43 pm

The early worm is for the birds.

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Post by Breathe » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:20 pm

:smt104
abusing the word "actually" since 1973

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Post by NaplesLMT » Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:40 pm

I am a male therapist. I have spent three years F/T at a "5 star" resort and spa. The article is accurate as to what happens at a spa with guest preferences. I can't vouch for anyone's reasons but they sound about right to me. The management does nothing proactive to keep the male therapists busy. It is all very passive and they just accept the guest preference without even trying a little bit. It certainly reflects on the corporate mentality of just making the most money and not caring about the individual employee. I was actually told I should be grateful for the job as though I did not earn every dollar with hard work.
Performing 1000 massages per year, I have been able to make a decent wage in part due to my abilility to upsell. Even with this, most female P/T therapists make more than me. I'm not whining. It's just the way it is.
I recently decided to leave that "slave trade" and focus on therapeutic and "medical/insurance" private practice. I am hoping that this type setting will help people in pain to set aside their discrimination and fears.
I shall try my best and enjoy being self employed again :)

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:07 pm

NaplesLMT wrote: It certainly reflects on the corporate mentality of just making the most money and not caring about the individual employee.
Another illogical feel-good statement.

The corporate mentality cannot be both cold, calculating and greedy AND so stupid that it cannot do the profit-boosting math you claim it lives by.

Turnover is incredibly expensive. Revenue is lost during the transition. The time and expense of screening, interviewing and training, payroll taxes on new hires ( you only pay FUTA and state UI on the first 8 - 9K of earnings) etc. I HATE to lose people, and no one here - or anywhere - will accuse me of having any other than a corporate mentality.

The true "corporate mentality" would maximize the utilization of the treatment room assets and the personnel. The less volume each therapist does, the higher their fixed costs are as a % of the revenue they generate. Under-utilization in a fixed capacity industry is the kiss of death.

That is a stupid, money-losing mentality, not a money-maximizing mentality.

That is what we try to do every day. Every client is asked if they have a preference, but if we can't accomodate the preference, we tell them what we do have available. Why try to get someone to come in for one appointment if you can place them with a male therapist or have them take the appt when a scheduled female is available? Does not make sense...

Our experience is that our clients are closer to a 55/45 preference for a female therapist. Unfortunately, we only get to ask about 20% of our clients, as most of our work is referred through a hotel front desk agent / concierge. ABout half the time they don't / won't ask the client. "They didn't say" = you did not ask. When we get to ask, we find clients are much less concerned than most folks - including the dopey writer of that article - think they are.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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Post by MassageAlumni.com » Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:35 am

RelaxandRejuvenate wrote:
NaplesLMT wrote: It certainly reflects on the corporate mentality of just making the most money and not caring about the individual employee.
Another illogical feel-good statement.

The corporate mentality cannot be both cold, calculating and greedy AND so stupid that it cannot do the profit-boosting math you claim it lives by.

Turnover is incredibly expensive. Revenue is lost during the transition. The time and expense of screening, interviewing and training, payroll taxes on new hires ( you only pay FUTA and state UI on the first 8 - 9K of earnings) etc. I HATE to lose people, and no one here - or anywhere - will accuse me of having any other than a corporate mentality.

The true "corporate mentality" would maximize the utilization of the treatment room assets and the personnel. The less volume each therapist does, the higher their fixed costs are as a % of the revenue they generate. Under-utilization in a fixed capacity industry is the kiss of death.

That is a stupid, money-losing mentality, not a money-maximizing mentality.

That is what we try to do every day. Every client is asked if they have a preference, but if we can't accomodate the preference, we tell them what we do have available. Why try to get someone to come in for one appointment if you can place them with a male therapist or have them take the appt when a scheduled female is available? Does not make sense...

Our experience is that our clients are closer to a 55/45 preference for a female therapist. Unfortunately, we only get to ask about 20% of our clients, as most of our work is referred through a hotel front desk agent / concierge. ABout half the time they don't / won't ask the client. "They didn't say" = you did not ask. When we get to ask, we find clients are much less concerned than most folks - including the dopey writer of that article - think they are.
Please forgive me for not reading your past posts before I ask this question......but I was wondering if you are a spa director? From your post it seems you are definately familiar with the spa management.
Rob West
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http://www.MassageAlumni.com -"Internet Marketing for Massage Professionals"

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:29 am

We own a spa and a nation-wide mobile spa business which we staff and manage as if it were one giant spa operation.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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Post by hurtssogood » Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:56 am

I think the biggest problem with this is the front desk or receptionist. Yes most people will have a preference some male some female. That does not mean they will be uncomfortable with a therapist of the opposite sex as their preference.

I run a multi-therapist office and handle a good portion of scheduling. I have found the biggest thing that needs to be done is to not ask. Instead state the appointments available have them pick the time and date they want. When they choose the best time for them repeat the appointment time and date booked and then tell them the name of the therapist. Something like: Thank you, we have you scheduled on Thursday the 4th at 10:00 with John. Most times people will keep that schedule. I have only had a small handful of people actually ask if there is a female available. In that case I give them their choice of available appointments with a female.

Remember preference is just that a preference. It is like do you prefer turkey or ham. I will eat either but if given the choice I will choose turkey.

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Post by austindesigns » Thu May 08, 2008 3:59 pm

I have found the best way to battle the gender preference is to simply state names when stating openings to clients. This is a great tool for putting a face on the therapist rather than simply basing it all on general gender. Stating the name then makes it more probable that you will be able to convince those on the fence to realize either way does not matter. I forced my boss at the last small operations spa I worked with, and it worked really well. The only trouble can be gender neutral names, like thai, or my name, ryan.

Making it more personal is the key to gaining ground and trust.

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Post by JasonE » Thu May 08, 2008 9:14 pm

Our receptionists simply state who is available at the desired time, and don't signal anything different about seeing a male vs a female. Our clients are not yet accustomed to having male therapists as an option and there is a bit of education happening, but overall it hasn't been a problem.

We have already hired one male therapist, and are interviewing others. The more frequently our clients have the option to choose a male therapist, the more often they will. It's just a matter of time before they also have established loyal clientele.
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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Post by maestra » Fri May 09, 2008 6:14 am

The spa where I work recently hired a male MT, I haven't met him yet though.
A co-worker and I really campaigned to get management to consider hiring a male. *grin* I used a lot of the "arguments" for hiring male practitioners here @ BWOL to make sure they gave him a fair shake. ;)
“Try to be like the turtle -- at ease in your own shell” - Bill Copeland

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Post by JasonE » Fri May 09, 2008 8:44 pm

Maestra -

My thanks to you and your co-worker for taking a stand against sex discrimination. :!: :D 8)

I hope that male therapist appreciates the opportunity and what it took for management to be willing to give him a shot! I especially hope that he proves to be a great coworker and does well enough to more than justify your efforts. :)
Jason Erickson, NCTMB, ACE-CPT, AIS-TA
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Update

Post by NaplesLMT » Tue May 13, 2008 2:02 pm

I've been working at a small day spa since my original post while building my own practice. So far, a much smaller percentage of clients insist on a female therapist at the day spa. The person doing the bookings simply states the name of the therapist when setting an appointment. We have two male and one female therapist. She still seems busier but it is off season and too soon for me to feel comfortable drawing a conclusion. I agree with the people who stated, it's how the front desk handles the appointment and not so much the client.
Needless to say I am happier and relieved about my choice to leave the old job.
I feel it fair to share with you that the big corporate spa is the Ritz Carlton.
This particular one is considerd the corporate flagship of the Ritz. As the whole hotel and spa runs on corporate rules and regulations, I feel it is fair to say that all Ritz spas have a policy of asking the guest up front if they have a gender preference. Marriott Intl. runs many Ritz Carltons but I don't know if Marriott spas have the same policy. My intent is that anyone (male or female) considering joining one of the Ritz's be informed about their policies before applying.
Naples LMT

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Re: Update

Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Tue May 13, 2008 3:40 pm

NaplesLMT wrote: I feel it fair to share with you that the big corporate spa is the Ritz Carlton.
This particular one is considerd the corporate flagship of the Ritz. As the whole hotel and spa runs on corporate rules and regulations, I feel it is fair to say that all Ritz spas have a policy of asking the guest up front if they have a gender preference. Marriott Intl. runs many Ritz Carltons but I don't know if Marriott spas have the same policy. My intent is that anyone (male or female) considering joining one of the Ritz's be informed about their policies before applying.
At 20+ treatment rooms, the Naples RC spa is their jewel.

But I don't see the crime in asking guests if they have a preference in the gender of their therapist. Sure they are trained to ask-- we train our folks to do the same, Male, Female or NP. They also ask guests if they have a preference of King bed, Queen Bed or 2 doubles, smoking or non-smoking.

There are people in this world who don't like have a same sex MT, just as there are people who won't want to be forced to take a smoking room at the hotel.

But I also know the Ritz in SoBe has plenty of male therapists who are busier than they would like to be, so it is not a function of being a Ritz ( and by the way, they do have SOPs for their spa operations. Looks like a phone book. All Ritz's have the same playbook.

Ritz spas have very low turnover among their spa staff compared to industry averages. Glad it worked for you, but I don't see the need for any "warnings" to prospective applicants.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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Post by EgoMagickian » Sun May 18, 2008 5:06 pm

But I don't see the crime in asking guests if they have a preference in the gender of their therapist.

It's the same crime as asking guests if they have a preference in the skin color of their therapist.

I'd like to see a company big enough to merit wide media exposure get sued for gender discrimination and to have the practice more or less ended after that.

Everyone has a right to their preferences, but no one has a right to ask an employer to accommodate every preference, specifically preferences around the non-job-related characteristics of employees. When a consumer makes choices based on such preferences, that is exercising free consumer choice; when an employer accommodates it, it's discrimination.

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Mon May 19, 2008 6:50 am

EgoMagickian wrote:But I don't see the crime in asking guests if they have a preference in the gender of their therapist.

It's the same crime as asking guests if they have a preference in the skin color of their therapist.
Nice try, but hardly. You even make my case.
EgoMagickian wrote:
Everyone has a right to their preferences, but no one has a right to ask an employer to accommodate every preference, specifically preferences around the non-job-related characteristics of employees.
Gender preference is a preference, not a commandment. If the employer cannot accomodate the preference then the consumer has the right to walk away.
EgoMagickian wrote: I'd like to see a company big enough to merit wide media exposure get sued for gender discrimination and to have the practice more or less ended after that.
Forget that...I would rather see a class-action suit aimed at every licensed establishment in the Bay Area. Why are you discriminating in your legal gunsights? Hit everyone and hit them hard and watch every small business owner in the Bay Area go belly up. THat would be a victory for male MTs for sure!
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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Post by EgoMagickian » Mon May 19, 2008 5:53 pm

LOL. To paraphrase you, R&R:

Racial preference is a preference, not a commandment. If the employer cannot accomodate the preference then the consumer has the right to walk away.

Actually, it is unethical for the employer to even consider accommodating the customer's preference. In the case of race it is currently illegal to do so, as it should be for gender.

The rest of your post is simple trolling, but if you think your bait's attractive to me you obviously haven't paid much attention to who I am as I express myself here. I don't need a "victory for male MTs" or for businesses to be put out of business. I am hardly anti-business, but very pro-justice.

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Post by NaplesLMT » Sun May 25, 2008 6:23 am

Joshua, you expressed the essence of this matter very well. While R&R has a right to his opinion as we all do, I would never want to work for someone with those kinds of practices or attitude. It seems to be just about a business owner making as much money without much consideration for therapists as individuals or the "image" of massage therapy as a whole. That, I think is a big problem in many industries. Male or female, we all worked hard to obtain our license, are passionate about what we do and deserve to be treated equally.
Naples LMT

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Post by NaplesLMT » Sun May 25, 2008 6:38 am

Joshua, you really expressed my feelings well. It seems everyone else who posted here feels the same way about the issue but for one. I believe in karma..... Have a great summer!
Naples LMT

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Sun May 25, 2008 11:44 am

EgoMagickian wrote: Racial preference is a preference, not a commandment. If the employer cannot accomodate the preference then the consumer has the right to walk away..
Not sure why you are in massage when you could be a video editor for NBC News with those skills you displayed.

The employer has a "commandment" - the very law you stated - not to accomodate the preference, so the two are hardly comparable.
EgoMagickian wrote:Actually, it is unethical for the employer to even consider accommodating the customer's preference.
NBC video editor AND moral arbiter -- my you are a busy one. Ethics can only be decided by the person making the choice. You may think it is unethical, but that only goes for you and the choices you make. Clearly there are many others who find it quite ethical and continue to ask gender preference.
EgoMagickian wrote:In the case of race it is currently illegal to do so,.
- that is law, no arguement there.
EgoMagickian wrote:...as it should be for gender.
That is opinion, and no state in the nation shares that opinion. If one did, it would be law.
EgoMagickian wrote: I am hardly anti-business, but very pro-justice.
Where is the justice in suing a business for acting within the law -- no matter how much it offends your sense of ethics? Sounds like you are pro-Ego, and wanting to foist your sense of ethics on others, regardless of the law.

You can change the law without resorting to lawsuits. I am sure Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein -- all purported anti-discrimination champions -- would be happy to take up the cause and introduce national legislation to extend gender discrimination to spas asking gender preference of customers.

I know our job would be infinitely easier if we could only staff male MTs. In fact, we would prefer it. But I supposed it is unethical to state such a preference...
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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I applaud women for beating us in the MT field!

Post by naturalrehabofvtca » Tue Jun 03, 2008 5:17 pm

Often the playing field is swung the other way so if you have a problem being in a Female dominated field then deal with it. What it really comes down to is skill of the therapist and respecting the clients boundaries. Even if the client is unwilling to get a massage from someone of the opposite sex or vice versa. There are plenty of field you can work in, in which men dominate women.
:)
Happy Massaging and just put you nose to the grindstone and give you best massage every time. That's the only thing to do to cope with any predjudice.
Bryan

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Post by LMTSC » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:55 pm

I work at a massage school where we often post employment opportunities for new and veteran therapists. We no longer allow companies to display "female" therapist needed. It is unethical. No other career allows that. BTW I teach ethics for both continuing education and student level. While the client does have a right for gender preference, it is illegal to hire/fire based on gender. Statistically it takes a male therapists twice to three times as long to generate a steady clientele, in comparison to female therapists.

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Post by nolalmt » Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:06 pm

As a male therapist I place myself in the therapy side of things realizing the spa side would be gender challenging for me. I have done well because the stereotypes of woman not being able to work deep plays into my favor. IMHO sports, chiro, doctors offices and the like don't have as many percieved issues with males.

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Post by NaplesLMT » Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:42 pm

To nolalmt and natural rehab, If you remember, there was a big to do about Denny's not serving african americans. If you were african american, would you just choose to eat at other restaurants? This is the same thing!!! This thread is not about a client's choice but about management and booking practices.
Naples LMT

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:27 pm

NaplesLMT wrote:If you remember, there was a big to do about Denny's not serving african americans. If you were african american, would you just choose to eat at other restaurants? This is the same thing!!!
No, it is not.

The parallel you cite would be if a spa refused to provide services based on the gender of the client.

The establishment - Denny's - was discriminating against customers. Illegal.

The establishment - the spa - may or may not be discriminating against its employees based on gender, which may or may not be illegal.
Smithers: "Sir, I'm afraid we have a bad image, people see you as a bit of an ogre." Mr.Burns: "I ought to club them and eat their bones!"

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Post by nolalmt » Thu Jun 05, 2008 3:12 pm

NaplesLMT wrote:This thread is not about a client's choice but about management and booking practices.
Hold on there, take a breath... this thread is about the preference of females over males and how that manifest in the work place. Just because you posted complaining about your work situation first doesn't mean this thread is yours to steer. I can and did point out you have partial responsibility placing yourself with an employer that's clients prefer woman LMTs. Didn't you say you left because of this? I'm just saying for a good 20 years there has been a 2 to1 or 3 to 1 preference for female clients in the spa industry. Why would you expect it to be different now?

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