When reading HR Management Magazine, “The truth of the common saying “women must try twice as hard to achieve half as much” is documented by more than a quarter century of social science. Women need to provide more evidence of job-related skills than their male counterparts before they are viewed as competent. Women are allowed fewer mistakes than men before they are judged incompetent.”
3. Expectation that I would be “nurturing” or “office fix-it person”
If I didn’t want to smile and be nice to everyone in the office and help them with whatever computer issues they were having, no matter how much work was on my plate, I was labeled dismissive or cold. By contrast, my boss, who continually snubbed people, never had to worry that his leadership would be called into question. He was never helpful, warm, understanding or even competent as a leader, and yet, female workers were all expected to be so.
4. Pressure to work longer hours despite agreements to honor family commitments
Racial and gender discrimination at work can also take the form of criticizing your time spent at work. If you only work 9-5 these days, you come under criticism as “not working hard enough.” As if more time at the office means you work harder. My boss criticized me for not staying after 7pm. Yet when I worked 10 and 12 hour days, I did not receive any more respect from my boss, or more money. Don’t kill yourself over your job.
5. Questions about your personal life
Another board member at a nonprofit asked me in an interview if I was planning to get married or have children anytime soon. I didn’t realize at the time that those kinds of questions are inappropriate and illegal.
When these small things build up over time, like butterflies on your head, it can create a lifetime of lowered salary, lowered self-esteem, and lowered expectation for you. Don’t let this happen. Don’t give up, and don’t let how they treat you affect your self esteem.
Here’s what you can do.
If you are attacked for wearing business attire that meets personnel handbook standards but doesn’t meet some arbitrary standard in your boss’s head, ask them if your attire has anything to do with the quality of your work.
If you are attacked for making the tiniest mistakes, keep track of your accomplishments, and trumpet these at board meetings. You do not deserve to be nitpicked to death, and you need to stand up for yourself.
If you are attacked for not giving up your whole life to the office, but “merely” working 9-5, tell your boss that employee law and the employee handbook dictates that you stay from 9-5, take a half hour for lunch, and then go home. Tell that person if they think that the employee handbook should be rewritten to say, “Stay until the boss says it’s time to quit,” then they should take it up with the board and the bureau of labor.
If you are attacked for having family commitments, you need to tell the board that no job is worth more than your family. And ask for flex time to be put into the employee handbook.
If you are attacked for refusing to answer a personal question, remember, by law, they are not allowed to ask you if you have children, or plan to get married. This is an illegal form of discrimination. You are allowed to say, “Do you realize that question is illegal?”
For other ways to make organizational changes, and for proof what your organization stands to lose if it doesn’t make changes, read this article by Consuela Pinto and Joan Williams here
I want to know what you want. Please tell me. Takes 5 mins. Tops.