Booking Protocols to Avoid Gender Bias

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Post by RelaxandRejuvenate » Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:24 am

We have had great success offering the guest "Do you prefer a male, female or does it not matter"

You would be amazed at how often they pick Door #3.

If you just ask "do you prefer male or female" you are still making them choose. Door #3 means we get to choose.

We also think it helps educate folks about their options and that for many it does not matter.
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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Re: Booking Protocols to Avoid Gender Bias

Post by ccMarie » Fri May 08, 2009 4:52 pm

I wanted to share this letter from the reader forum of Massage & Bodywork, from the March/April 2009 issue.
More Bookings for Male MTs

I'm the lead therapist in a well-known spa in Puerto Rico. We have found a way to book more appointments with male therapists in the spa. (It's a fact that this is one of the problems male therapists have in our industry.) When a client calls the spa, we always offer first the male therapist available at the time the client is requesting; If the client wishes to change to a female therapist, then we do so. We found that the response is about 70 percent in favor to have the male therapist in comparison to when we first ask if there is a gender preference. When we ask about gender preference, seven out of 10 are always for female therapists; two do not care; and one requests a male therapist.

Gregorio Diaz
San Juan, Puerto Rico
While I'm not sure this approach avoids gender bias, I personally would not have a problem if this protocol were to be implemented at the clinic where I do a shift, or at salon/spas I have worked in the past. In all my experiences --with seniority at a place, getting good guest feedback to the receptionist, as well as being female-- I have seen what it is like with my appointment book too full for a real lunch break and my male MT coworker, just wishing for more than one appointment per day. I would be happy to see my male co-workers get the first chance to get the appointment, because I know my schedule will be full anyway.
You are not on this planet to produce anything with your body. You are on this planet to produce something with your soul. Your body is simply and merely the tool of your soul.

- Neale Donald Walsh Conversations with God

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Re: Booking Protocols to Avoid Gender Bias

Post by Timedess » Fri May 08, 2009 5:09 pm

We haven't had much problem with this issue, personally. When someone calls to schedule an appointment, or walks in the door, I ask what sort of massage they are looking for. If they say "well, I have been having trouble with my <name body part>, I smile and say "well, then, I'll be pointing you to my husband (introduce him, if he's available at the time). He's our therapeutic specialist.".

So far, we've only had one person tell him to his face they'd rather not "be touched by a male"- somehow, hubby was able to persuade him that he was no danger and really could help him with his issues (he started him out on the massage chair, and now he's a table regular). I have taken on two clients with whom *I* had first contact, who "preferred a female"; after talking with hubby, one (the female) has declared that she would no longer care about getting a massage by him if she needed more than I can do for her, and the male... well, he just seems to prefer that nice, relaxing session over something more therapeutic. We've also had a couple who started out with me, but have switched to him for effectiveness' sake. I have my strong points; he has his. :)

So, yes, clients do have a choice at our establishment, but more based on what they need over gender preferences. So far.

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Re: Booking Protocols to Avoid Gender Bias

Post by Monkey » Sat May 09, 2009 2:39 pm

I work with a Male therapist. If someone wants to book when he is available we simply say "Okay - 'Bob' will see you at 3:15 on Thursday!" if people have a problem with "Bob" they have the option to say so - most don't say anything, and they all show up except for the odd exception, but everyone has a few no-shows here and there.

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