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.
When I first married my husband I became thrown into a family of ‘hard working self made men’ seriously that’s how they called themselves. My father in law was always so busy living upto his own standards that his wife ( mil) would always have to sort out all the work in the house. She would paint, hang wall paper and do diy, all paid for by her ‘little job’ she had. When we graduated ( both in same year with same degree) my husband went to work for his father, one job he needed a decorator to paint the walls of an office white, he was desperate and needed it doing adapt to complete the job. So he gave the job to me, I was competent and professional, turned up and started the job. Until lunch time when my father-in-law turned up , saw the work and was pleased, saw me and went nuts and sent me home! His reason ‘it’s unprofessional to have a woman on a building site, women don’t have the same skill set’ (keep in mind the back story of his wife at home) A little later into our marriage one of his most senior and experienced specialist colleagues , an engineer who was a world leader in his field turned up in the office as a woman. At the age of 60 he was bravely going through the transition. I am glad to say she was welcomed ( after much sniggering) I do believe however she’s still the only women in the company besides the receptionist!