I was interested to read last week that left-handed men earn more than their right-handed peers (Personnel Today, 4 April). As a left-handed woman in my late twenties, I find that the world is geared almost entirely towards right-handed people.
When travelling on the tube or by train, for example, the swipe pad or ticket feeder is always on the right-hand side. The mouse on my computer at work is automatically put on the right, as is my phone and in-tray. Of course, I can change these, but it’s the presumption that I must be right-handed that annoys me.
There are numerous other little niggles that left-handed people continually have to face. I’ve encountered problems being a ‘leftie’ for as long as I can remember. It took me years to learn how to tell the time as I, quite literally, saw a mirror image of the clock face. I had one awful teacher at primary school who would continually tell me off for slanting my book and elbowing the person sitting next to me. And trying to order a pair of left-handed scissors is always a nightmare.
As you rightly point out in your magazine, left-handed workers are usually perceived to be more creative than their right-handed colleagues. Can I suggest that this is because we have to be more creative to get by? As a much-maligned leftie, I’m certainly used to compromising.
Perhaps we as HR practitioners should look at how we can accommodate left-handed people more in the workplace, and ensure they are not the victims of even more prejudice.