Women in Tech: Be Aggressive and Make Your Presence Known
Working as an HR in the world of technology, I hoped to receive some recognition and have some influence on the male-dominant culture. Though I am worthy enough to put a full stop on some filthy locker room gossip, I am also sensible enough to know that it always happens, no matter what we do. Not only it reaches my earshot, but also I have helped lots of my female colleagues to not pay attention to the obscene story of someone’s last night.
If you think that the harassment comes only from outward, which is commonly shown in training videos, then you need to think again. Most of the sexism often comes in small portions, many of which go unnoticed.
During an HR conference, one of the sales representatives preferred to have a discussion with my male co-worker even though I was attentive to his questions and answered each of them. I could have made excuses because I look a bit young, but I am such a hard working leader that my presence has a very positive effect on my workers, but this is just not enough.
Also, sometimes when you are completely ignored for a task, which was directly related to your core work goals and you decide to send an email addressing the issue. Your boss, who is too partial to think about issues related to women, shouts at you saying that the email was too aggressive.
This puts a big question, too aggressive? Seriously, are you sure you really meant that? No, it was not all aggressive or too much outspoken, but the work was supposed to be done by me, I am highly experienced to do that. It is better to greet me with smile and say thank you when I complete that task.
So, all I want to say to all the ladies out there, “Be Aggressive”. What we follow is “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”, but that does not always give fruitful results, sometimes it is important to hit hard. Do it anyhow. Make yourself get heard either by screwing them or by any other way possible.
Did that situation make me cry? Well, yes, it did. But, did I sob in front of him? No, hell no, it was not all worthy enough.
During my first ever management summit, I finally got the chance to arrive at the table. It was quite a huge table and a very important meeting. I had everything set and was extremely excited, but then the only thing I was asked to do was to take notes. I was the only female worker in that room. Most of us were co-workers, who have always been very helpful as well as respectful, consider my views and pay attention to my words. Why me? All of us had computers with us and fully functional.
Was I that irrelevant for the meeting or was I going to do something crazy and not be invited again for the next meeting? I handled the notes carefully, made sure to send them as quickly as possible and complete the task which was not supposed to be mine.
Being a woman is not easy when we are outnumbered by so many men in a world of male dominated society. Though, I do see some changes as younger men take charge, these are the ones who have not spent most of their time living in a backwards culture or have not been raised in such typical surroundings. They are finally making the people realize about the issues.
In all walks of life, tech field has extremely long way to cover and we, women, need to fight, bravely, the good fight along with the male colleagues.
Never doubt your capability, you are equally qualified and possess an equal respect for your skills. The moment you prove it that you have that skill what the job demands for, they will realize and know your importance. Your hard work and boldness will make the path little easier for the next generation of women.