What Happens When Someone Experiences Gender Discrimination In The Workplace?
It's a sensitive subject.
Most people avoid it. Some people speak about it. And a rare few make it their mission to create an equal, or at the very least safe, environment for women.
In our attempt to push for equality, perhaps it's best to truly understand the myriad of emotions that occur when someone experiences gender discrimination in the workplace.
And hopefully through our shared empathy, we can appreciate why it's so important to be the change we want to see in the world.
If you're not aware, we're hosting an upcoming event on, "How Can We Eliminate Gender Discrimination...Really?"
(Do secure your seat for this event if you're interested in participating in our open, honest discussion. Reserve your seat here.)
After each participant registers for his/her seat, we would send a 1 question questionnaire in preparation for the event.
The question is as follows:
- When it comes to gender bias/discrimination in the workplace, what the biggest challenge, frustration or struggle you MIGHT be facing? (Please be as detailed as possible)
Most of those of signed up gave one word or one sentence answers.
But there was one brave person who wrote about what she is currently facing. And with her permission, we would like to share it with you.
A Story From Anonymous
Thank you for organising this event. I'm not really going to participant in the discussion per se. I'm going in the hopes that maybe you can help me find a solution to my problem.
I work in customer success at a scaling startup. I'm the only woman in the team. But that isn't the problem.
The problem is the isolation I feel because of the gender bias I experience that has now become discrimination, I feel.
We have a relatively small office, and therefore, everyone can hear each other's conversations. Perhaps it's because it's a male dominated company. But the "frat" conversations always seem to be at the forefront.
They would say nasty, sexist things about women, which can be really hard to hear. Mind you, I'm not the only one who feels this way. The other two girls, and some guys, feel disgusted by this behaviour as well. But most prefer not to speak up about it.
I brought this up during my one-on-ones with my direct manager once. I told him how uncomfortable and disrespected I felt, especially when this is a daily occurrence.
To be fair to him, I think he tried his best to solve this issue. He spoke to the main culprits, and according to him, emphasised to them that respect is the foundation in which trust is built, and that they needed to respect everyone in order for the company to succeed.
But it backfired.
Unfortunately, now I hear these guys saying things like, "people get offended too easily nowadays" or "better shut up in front of overly-sensitive people".
I'm now left out of most things, and feel very lonely because of it.
My friends tell me to quit. But my resume is not that good, and I don't have a degree qualification, so getting a good paying job like this is not so easy. I need to take care of my family so I would rather stay.
So I'm hoping that maybe someone can share with me some ways on dealing with this type of gender discrimination struggles."
I'm sorry you're experiencing this in your workplace.
I hope you know you do not have to suffer alone. There is always a community ready to support you.
We can't guarantee that we can offer an answer to your problem. However, we will do our very best to empower you in some small way.
See you at the event.