It’s almost like I have two strikes against me in addition to being female: I work in the construction industry, and my education and role is in Environment (everyone hates Environment ) Oh, and I’m young as well - 29.
I participated in a meeting all day today (we will reconvene tomorrow bright and early) where I was the lone female in a room of about 15 senior level management types (VPs and General Manager types) and I seriously struggled with how I should behave, what I should say, should I put my neck out with an outside-of-the-box suggestion? In an ideal world, we are all equal, but in all honesty, we just aren’t there yet.
So, how do I behave and what do I do to gain their respect? I really want to get my foot in the door here (I’ve been with the company for 8 months) and move up the ladder rapidly. So far I’ve taken on loads of extra work and produced some pretty exceptional documents, and my role has evolved positively in the past few months, but I still feel like I’m not taken seriously.
Speaking with my father earlier tonight he bluntly stated that women prove themselves by being very smart - not just in respect to their role within the company, but in general. He said that often men can get away with being a bit dim as long as they have a good personality or other redeeming quality, but women certainly can’t get ahead by giggling or telling off-colour jokes, they have to be SMART.
Opinions and experiences from both sexes welcome.