“I told my sons, make sure your wives breastfeed and then you’ll never have to get up in the night for a crying baby” (Same man in the same conversation) “I never used to get up when my kids cried as babies… it’s what wives are for”
I’m exhausted. My job is so laborious and I have been the only one working so hard at my job because my manager does not enforce the same rules for men as he does for women. Everything I do is questioned, micro-managed, and gaslighted. If a male co-worker makes the same suggestion, then he gets his way. I wanted to get into engineering, because I know I can do it, but I never thought that the people pushing back we’re my superiors.
Working Asa human resources manager in a male dominated engineering consulting firm. I was the only female manager the firm had every had in their 35 year history. I was purposely excluded from meetings, was provided with incomplete information, was marganilized regularly, talked down to, told I was stupid, it was regularly implied that my human resources based skill set was less valuable the the predominantly male technical skill set. I was regularly subjected to bullying, sexual harassment, sexually jokes and innuindo. I watched the firm go from 27% female technical staff to 2% female technical staff at the hands of a single executive who appeared to want to wipe women out from the company – every time he laid off staff the “hit list” was predominantly female designers or engineers. These same women were paid less, recieved less promotion, and were kept on mundane entry level tasks far longer than any male counter part was. In the end, I was also fired and replaced by a man. Engineering has to be one of the worst industries for women to work in. I now work in a female dominated environment and I’m loving it.
I became our robotic’s team co-captain earlier this summer. One of the boys in our team is extremely sexist, so when I got into a leadership role through hard work and commitment and he did not, he keyed my car. I can’t prove anything since I don’t have a recording, but he left early in anger and was one of the few people in the parking lot. I know that big scratch down the side of my car was meant to intimidate me, but it only makes me more determined. Whenever he tries to stare me down, I always win. I’m not a quitter. He should know better. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
I was called a cum guzzler by a supervisor in an open office environment with my peers present.
While I was applying to do engineering at university, my grandparents and aunt (who have degrees in engineering) gave me some advice: “that no matter how hard you try, you will never be as good as your male coworkers. You should go into something more female mind orientated like accounting, afterall your female brain won’t be able to deal with 3D structures, maths, and design as well as a male brain could. Even if u try hard your boss won’t acknowledge you like he would for your male coworkers. That’s reality Rina, just deal with it.” I ignored them and I am an engineering student now. Last year, when I have caught the train back from uni, and strangers have seen me carrying my big heavy engineering books. Three times in the last year, they’d ask in a slightly condescending voice “oh engineering… how unusual”…”a bit strange for a girl isnt it?”… “so how are you coping with that?” I’m doing better than most of the boys on my male dominated course, despite my female brain, but thanks for asking.
At age 24, I introduced myself to a UC Berkeley admissions officer to ask about applying to their Bioengineering PhD program as a non-traditional applicant. She looked at me and warned, “You should think carefully, what are you? Approaching 30? Do you think about family? Research isn’t for everyone, you know.” I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say.
At Home Depot, I asked an employee where the hardware section was (I was looking for builder hardware e.g. ties and hinges). He laughs and proceeds to give me a 2 min lecture about the difference between hardware and software in computers. Then he tells me to make sure to find someone handy to help me. Instead of asking for a clarification, he assumes that I don’t know what I’m talking about.
My A-Level maths class is 80% male, the teacher is an older/middle aged male, he made sexist ‘jokes’ every lesson, about how women were stupid, or talked too much. I was working up the courage to confront him, when one lesson he pointed out that I apparently glared at him every time he made a sexist comment. I wasn’t aware I was doing this. He pointed out that I didn’t find this amusing, and paused like he was waiting for me to explain why. I couldn’t find a way to explain something that obvious in a way that wouldn’t get me expelled. The boys all started laughing. After this, I considered approaching sixth form management about it, but the very next day, the people we are all supposed to to turn to if we have a problem, declared that there would be a female-only dress code assembly. This angered, annoyed, and terrified everyone, but there’s no one we can go to about it. It was exactly what we’d expected. “Pull your skirt down, the fact that you;re treated like an object and not a person is inconveniencing us.” I’m hoping to study engineering, and I’m perfectly okay with any gender or sex, unless they cause the problem. So the fact that there are far more males than females are engineering events is annoying, but does not affect the way I live my life. But when the Dean of a university I went to a three day course on stood up at the end and said “Look at all these girls.” we all stared at him, refusing to respond to or applaud anything he said. The ratio of the group was 51% female, exactly as it should be, progress is perfect, being surprised by progress says you weren’t trying for it. Perhaps he could have mentioned the things we’d done, the things we’d learnt, the fact that this residential course was our first taste of university, the fact that he was trying to convince us to go to his university. But no, the shock of the mythical female in STEM must have completely fried his brain.
I recently got chartered as a civil engineer at the Institute of Civil Engineering. I won’t get into the backward industry that is engineering but having continued that battle and receiving a qualification that I worked so hard for, I received an overwhelming amount of sexism at the institute itself. On the day, despite being dressed in smart attire (and a name badge, with my title on it!), I was ignored for a survey for engineers, I was constantly asked if I was my colleague’s girlfriend. This was after I’d been carrying my certification. The institute claims to support women but in my ten years of being a member, I’ve felt actively excluded by a group that is predominantly made up of white, middle aged men.