I’m at a point in my career where I’m actively working to establish myself as a professional. I work in a field largely dominated by [chauvinist] older men who think it’s perfectly appropriate to call me “sweetie” or speculate about my personal life or ask me to make some more coffee even though that definitely is not part of my job description. It makes me feel like I’m younger than I am. It makes me feel like “the girl who handles that” instead of the woman who is hoping to be the director of the department.
I want to be warm and approachable, but I don’t want to be talked down to. It’s a challenge. I’ve trained my speaking voice to sound deeper and more assertive. I use less exclamation points in emails. You know. I’m so grateful to have so many strong, independent female mentors in my life. At the end of the day, though, women are still paid less, respected less, and taken less seriously compared to our male counterparts. Continue reading