I am in my early 30s, and I am a woman of colour. I work in a good daytime job at a Canadian hospital , and I also volunteer as an executive of a well known national humanitarian organization non-profit. I’m passionate about my volunteer work because of how I can contribute to society, but I very rarely bring up the topic of my volunteer work in social situations. I was applying for a new position in the hospital , and to show my leadership skills , I mentioned at the end of my interview about my volunteer title. Upon hearing about the volunteer appointment , I was jokingly asked whether I have any time for my husband at home anymore . All three interviewers, in high profile positions , were laughing at the joke . I was silent for a second , but knowing that the interviewers had power over my career , I joked back that I was lucky that my husband was so supportive. My husband is actually very supportive of my work , but I felt silly having to justify myself. Ironically , the three interviewers were all older women. I never talked about my volunteer work with them again.


I am a married female student at a Top 10 MBA program. During an investment banking interview, my interviewer asked me if I had my husband’s permission to be an investment banker.


After several years in a prominent position in a nonprofit, I applied for an executive level position. The skill required was very high, and I was the only person in the organization who had any education in the skill required and I knew I was desired for the position. I interviewed in front of a twelve person panel, and inevitably the topic of the deplorably low salary being offered came up. One of my male coworkers, attempting to persuade me to accept the low pay, said, “but think of what a position like this would do for your resume, as a woman!” I left the company but regrettably didn’t file a discrimination suit. I was basically asked to work for a fraction of what the role was worth, implying I needed to compensate for being female and maybe “improve my station” in the future in spite of it.


A couple of years ago, I was a single parent of two children and when I was interviewed for my job I was asked if I would be able manage the job and the children. I found this extremely patronising. Of course I couldn’t possibly have thought about this for myself, could I?


Last Monday, I had a job interview (third and final interview with the MD) and he asked me how I reacted in stressful situations – ‘do you cry, do you get frustrated and burst into tears?’ As I was busy trying to get a job, I didn’t think about it until afterwards. Apparently it was really close between me and the other (male) candidate. They told me I’d find out if I was successful the following day – I actually found out on Friday morning that they’d chosen the other candidate. I don’t usually cry in stressful situations, but this did make me cry. There is no way the male candidate would have been asked the same question. I know that I am probably better off not working in a culture where people would ask questions like that, but that still doesn’t help me in my current unemployed situation.


I was recently on the interview panel to recruit for a new member of staff I would be managing in my office. One of the interviewees, a man in his 50’s, said something about men as a neutral term referring to ‘human’ but then pointedly looked at me and said ‘oh and women too of course’. Apparently after he said this, while I was writing a note on my interview paper, he looked at my male colleague and winked. Needless to say, we didn’t hire him.


I am two months in to a new job and was recently told by my manager that the only negative feedback he received about me from my interview with HR was that I was not wearing heels.

An engineer

I’ve been for a few job interviews that went well until I gave the salary I was looking for, which the managers thought was far too high. I’m leaving my current job because I know I’m very underpaid compared to male colleagues.


Aged 18, and in my first year at University I went for a job interview at a pub, I got the job, but not before the much much older male interviewer stroked my hand and told me how attractive I was and that we would have fun. I was completely intimidated. Needless to say I did not go back, I was actually quite scared. This is one of too many stories I could tell. When I look back at my more vulnerable self I fear for her, and i guess i probably still do fear,otherwise why would I have developed a hard faced attitude to counteract this kind of behaviour? Even so that did not help when a few years back a manager used to constantly stare at my breasts,( just to make it clear the poor things were not even on display) and on discussion with another female colleague it appeared I was not the only one, I said nothing, I did nothing , he is probably still spending his days staring at female colleagues chests while they try to update them on their projects progress ….. how do you challenge something like that? We certainly did not feel empowered to do so.


Last week at an interview for a technology company in Dublin, Ireland, I was asked if I was married, if I had children, and how I would feel working in a “male dominated workplace”. I am 26. How many 26 year old men are asked their marital status and if they have/plan on having children?