Females In The Workplace: You Should Really Be Kinder // Jessica Graham
Photo: Solden, M.S., LMFT, S. (2016, October 24). The Happiness Project for Women with ADHD [Audio blog post]. Retrieved October 26, 2016, from http://www.additudemag.com/
Sexism isn’t a thing anymore right? Gender equality is present, especially in the workplace, is what we’re told. Today, one of my employers was discussing an e-mail they received. Part of our job is to be advocates for those who may not be able to advocate for themselves. In that process, sometimes we wind up having to advocate for ourselves as well.
In this particular case, a male professor was upset with a response he was given by my supervisor, whom is a female. Another party informed my supervisor that she should apologize to this other professor because she was too “harsh”. I’ve read the e-mails and the response from my supervisor was very matter of fact and to the point, however was not in my opinion “harsh”. When discussing this with my supervisor, her response was, “It’s because I’m a woman.” Luckily, her supervisor agrees that there is no reason for an apology on her part based on her response.
We’re told as women to “be nice”, “help others”, and generally to stay out of the way in the workplace unless called upon and even then we must exceed expectations or we’re considered failures. That last point alone could be another blog post on its own. Misogyny is subtle, however the blatant disrespect based on one’s gender is blaringly loud (Miner & Cortina, 2016). There are harmful effects to all in the workplace who observe such misogyny (Miner & Cortina, 2016). I know that I personally feel that I must be more cautious based on this interaction or to be more aware that it’s a possibility to be targeted myself. It also brings to question that my employer, whom I respect, has been disrespected and asked to uphold a societal norm, that wasn’t even necessary in the given situation.
I’d like to clarify that I’m all about being nice and caring about others. There are situations though where the facts are all that’s needed. As women and females are we expected to put a glaze on everything in order to be perceived as fitting into a societal role that we may not necessarily intend to fill? Is flowering a topic necessary for job duties? Should we apologize for not upholding a societal standard? My answer to all of these is no. I’d love to hear your opinion though!
Miner, K. N., & Cortina, L. M. (2016). Observed workplace incivility toward women, perceptions of interpersonal injustice, and observer occupational well-being: Differential effects for gender of the observer. Frontiers In Psychology, 7