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TOPIC: Working in a man's world
Created by: bellasera
Original Starting post for this thread:
Just need to vent - come join this party if you want.

Why is it that when you work your ass off to get a BS and MS in engineering, work your ass off in the industry staying up late nights, miss vacations, miss your kid's big events, take on the jobs no one wants, manage people by treating them like humans and not talking down to them, manage with a softer touch rather than an iron fist, and are considered by the peers you see every day as well respected and easy to get along with..... why is it that your long distance boss exhibits disdain for you from day one, you are told to start looking for another job and finally told you don't have the intestinal fortitude to do this job? He manages through fear and intimidation. No one stands up to him because they get shot down or put on a shit list. This guy seems to hate women working for him - a highly qualified female candidate was well received by plant management, did one final phone interview with him and withdrew her interest in the position.

I'm just trying to hang on for another 3 weeks so I can collect my bonus (which I worked damn hard for). I have an opportunity to partner up with someone who wants me to do the engineering work while she does the marketing. It's a good fit because I suck at sales but am good with numbers. Thanks for letting me vent.

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No, I think you are correct. My daughter graduated from HS last year, and I was amazed at the tolerance they showed. When I was in HS...given, I grew up in a small town in Wi...you did not dare be different. If you were homosexual, you lived life straight or you got beat up. If you were a white girl that was sexually attracted to african american men...ugh. You simply pretended to the outside world that you were who you were supposed to be. However, my daughter has friends that were openly bi and homosexual in HS. It was a wonderful thing.


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I don’t understand why some people put other person(s) down in order to show their apparent superiority. Call these people good ol’ boys, sexists, racists, bigots, is actually being too kind to them. I think the sadist part is seeing adults instilling this mindset in the younger generation. On the other hand, I see more and more young people who don’t see differences in gender, color, race, culture, … between their peers. We may not see the effects of this change in mindset during our generation, but I really feel that the situation is improving. I just hope I’m not being overly optimistic.

Columbus OH
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Its amazing how it is not changing. My manager is a lady, but our head manager is a good ole boy redneck man who drives me insane. He is very much the right wing conservative poster boy. He has gotten into shit for asking women in interviews questions such as how many children does she have? If she is a single mom, who takes care of her children? He asked my now manager, because she was moving to Tx from La...since she has no family here, what would happen if she divorced and how would she work? I only hope that as women enter managerial areas it will change. But women being women...it does not get better. Women tend to get promoted and try to prove themselves to show that they can be as rough as a man. But it will continue to get better I am sure. We no longer raise our girls to be mommies and teachers only...we now are raising our girls to be engineers and architects as well as mommies and teachers. And that is a wonderful thing.


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Ladies,

I know you can't see me right now, but as I read the posts I stood up and applauded each of you. Luckily no one is home right now or I would look rather silly. But I give you must utmost respect and honor.

I am impressed and filled with awe that you all are 'that educated' in a 'difficult' subject 'requiring top level skills and knowledge' working with 'good ole boys' that seem 'unaware' that women can and do just as well as men in many things. If not better.

The words in quotes are some of the words that have been said to women through history indicating their position in society with their lesser contributions.

Not to belittle your efforts at all, but damn, you guys received the education, developed the skills, earn the recognition for your duties and still dealt with discrimination, belittling, lesser pay, lost promotions, overlooked promotions, looks and comments from dirty men, jealousy from other women who weren't as successful as you, cramps, periods, PMS, and having babies (if that is the case), child care issues, and all the other home and family care taking issues associated with women, even working outside the home women, and the list goes on........

The problem you all expressed has not gotten better over the years. Some women have broken through the glass ceilings, but those are exceptions rather than the rule. The problems remain as entrenched in the workplace today as it was in the 60, 70s, 80s, and 90s. It remains on the back burner because it has improved some and many men and women feel that it is good enough.

I have no incredible idea on how to address this issue. Or great words of wisdom. I left the workforce to work from home because I got tired of the same things as you describe. While I was not an engineer or in the military and actually had a job that was seen as mostly employed by women, I felt the same things as you guys are now. I will state right now, my experiences are not as severe as yours sound like because of the different field I was in.

But I wanted to let you know that I respect you all.

Sophia

Hendersonville NC
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Its not at all unfortunately. What really makes me sad is how women do not support each other. Its one thing for a man to treat me crazy or make references to me sexually. I am ready for that shit. But when women turn against women...that shit hurts.


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The misses has about 30 engineers working for her and she continues to move up the ladder. But it is very tough for her in a male dominated industry, lot's of road blocks. She tends to move up when she has a mentor who respects her work, knowledge and gumption. It's not easy for woman engineers.

Painesville OH
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For me, the worst place ever was the military. Not only did I have to put up with NCOs and fellow soldiers making comments while we did PT (especially stretching)...but the fact that they hated the idea that women were there in the first place. Army wives at that time were still very much "traditional wives", as in they stayed home and raised the children and daddy went to work. And that is very noble. But alot of the men I worked with thought that ALL women were supposed to be at home raising the children, and should not be in the military. I was told this directly by a few. When I was promoted at Fort Detrick, Md. one guy was nothing short of infuriated over the idea that he, a soldier, would have to answer to a female soldier. This is why still to this day, in the office and usually everywhere...I do everything twice better than I am asked to. If I am to be there at 8, I am there at 7:30. You always feel as a woman this pressure to do everything to the extreme, just to show you "belong".


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I don't know if it will ever change. I used to think that when the good old boys were gone, everything would change, but unfortunately the good old boy are raising their boys to be new good old boys. I saw this very clearly when I gave a talk to a Society of Women Engineers session a couple years back that was combined with a meeting of the Society of Mechanical Engineers. Nothing wrong with Mechanical Engineers, but the group took me to dinner, and I couldn't believe the anti-women vitriol being spewed by these boys.

At the moment I have 3 guys reporting to me and they are great, we all work together well, so I feel pretty lucky. I have had at times very sexist people working for me; it was not pleasant. Oh well!

Gibsonia PA
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I am coming in at the end of this conversation, but I wanted to tell you that I agree so much with this, and the "good ole boy" system women often work under. It is so frustrating. I have found that not only is a woman at a disadvantage, but women that physically are a certain way are in a unique position as well. When a woman is a girlie girl it is oftentimes assumed that she slept her way into her position. And men tend to have a hard time working under women....and then throw into the mix the fact that an assertive man is called in charge and in control, where an assertive woman is called a bitch and a diva. Ugh, it is so frustrating.


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Thanks wanna and livewire! Gosh - you are so right. Been soul searching to see if this whole engineering thing is right for me - been in this business for 20 years. When I'm relaxed and comfortable with people, I'm confident and can showcase my expertise. I just don't do well with aggressive people who have to cut down others to make themselves look better. Unfortunately, I got promoted to corporate management. I don't care about getting credit for things - in fact - I prefer that everyone on my team share the victory instead of just one person.

The biggest mistake that I made has been truly believing in the corporate leadership model - it talks about truth, credibility, adult behavior and ethics. I'm learning that this was only lip service from company leaders. It's been a disappointing day - just found out that a plant manager who is greatly respected by his employees, runs an outstanding profitable operation and I personally admire the way he does his work was forced into retirement one year early (after 45 years of service to the company - he started out at 19 years of age sweeping the floor). Your advice just reinforces that I need to get out of this company before it saps whatever remaining sense of worth I have. I know the business culture is moving towards lean and mean but there has to some place for someone like me - an easygoing nerd who would rather tinker than interface with humans. Thanks for your advice.

Albany OR
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TOPIC: Working in a man's world