In September, I reached my tolerance limit for sexism at the office and peaced-out. For years, I tried to determine whether the disrespect was just the regular kind or because I had lady parts. Finally, enough evidence amassed to tell me, “no, when people regularly neglect to invite you to important meetings where your expertise is vital, don’t make eye contact when talking about technical subjects, don’t ask for your technical assistance when you are the assigned matter expert, and when high-ranking employees vocally make distinctions about candidates and audiences because of their gender, it’s your vagina that’s getting in the way”.
I still find it hard to understand, as I was treated with so much more respect earlier in my career, when I obviously had less experience and knowledge, and fewer stories of technical Goliaths slain.
I’ve had a lot of time to think here, though, alone and jobless in the woods of Ireland. Maybe there is an extra 13% of effort I could have put in beyond the 110% I expended each day refraining from stabbing myself in the eyes. Below is an instructional video with 5 things I now realize I could have done differently to earn more respect. Hopefully it can help female engineers currently struggling. Please share if you know any.
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