Changing the oppressive culture of sexism in Corporate America

If an issue can’t be talked about, it can’t be fixed.

For example, I have experienced not only subtle, but also egregious acts of sexism and have left two organizations because of it. But during an interview, it’s typically frowned upon to broach the topic of sexism and the general recommendation is to always frame decisions positively. So unless I am dealing with a “woke” interviewer, I risk being automatically labeled a problem employee by telling the truth of my experience.

  • Providing solutions or ideas and being ignored, only to have a colleague repeat my idea weeks later as if it was new, and then watch him be taken seriously.
  • Having my own ideas preached back at me by male colleagues as if they didn’t learn it from me.
  • Being told I have the wrong “tone” while male colleagues are allowed to treat coworkers with outright snark and disrespect and they get promoted.
  • Being treated like my perspective is naive because it is different from the status quo, instead of it being seen as thought-leading and innovative.
  • Having what I wore to a customer meeting critiqued rather than any mention of the work I did for them.
  • Being harassed by male colleagues who were protected by the organization instead of the organization protecting me.
  • Being told I have to prove myself to a male colleague with no expertise in my field, when I was simply trying to do the specific job I was hired for.
  • Being told my education didn’t prepare me for the workplace while I watch the company hire men for the same role whose only qualifications are their education.

Women colleagues and friends, why are we doing this to one another?

An idea that I have been putting into practice for a few years now is that women will not succeed without being lifted up by other women (and other people in general). I adopted this idea from many different sources, including the book Feminist Fight Club and the SHE Summit I attended in 2018.

Like Leslie Knope, I believe in putting “ovaries before brovaries,” at least when it comes to helping women succeed in areas of leadership and authority where we have been systematically disadvantaged due to gender bias, stereotypes, and heuristics.

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Kara J

Kara J

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Writing evidence-based, thought-provoking content to spread knowledge and ideas that help people. I hold an MS I/O Psychology and BA Philosophy.