8. Male supervisors don’t take me seriously
I’m fairly young (mid twenties) and have had a hard time advancing in the workplace despite getting more responsibility at work. I was told by the HR person in charge of the hiring committee for the internal transfer I applied for that I didn’t have a chance because older male coworkers wont take me seriously and could get distracted.
I put in a complaint with the VP of staff and left that job.
9. Nobody expects anything from me
In college and grad school I had multiple professors tell me that they had drastically underestimated me based on my appearance, and pretty much ignored me for the first half of a semester before they began seeing my work. I remember one, who I generally really liked, mention me in front of the class, stating “nobody would ever guess by looking at you!” I always wanted to say that maybe they shouldn’t assess students based on superficial guesses. Instead, they should treat everyone the same, at least until they got to know what they were capable of.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t much to be done in any particular situation. Personality (even a very biased perception of personality) often a primary factor when hiring and promoting people in the workplace. It’s a systematic cultural problem, much more so than deliberate choices. I’ve often felt that I had to choose between getting perceived as the cute, nonthreatening, person who can get walked-over, or a no-fun, domineering witch. I’m still not sure which is the better option.
Sadly, these responses, more often than not, come from men and women I genuinely like and respect. The thing is, an individual doesn’t need to be sexist to behave in a way that reflects a sexist culture. (As much as I continually try to change my thinking, I still find myself unfairly judging women all too regularly.) Gender disparities are so deeply ingrained in our culture, and across cultures, that we are rarely aware of how much they affect our perception.