Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sexism at work. What sexism?

I work for a software company, and needless to say, most of the female employees work in HR (all female), Accounting (one male), and Administration (all female). I work in the business strategy arm of the company, needless to say, most of the time I am the only woman at the meetings.

Let me not start with how many meetings at which the speaker refused to look at me when he talked. (yes, I can use "he" here since it always is a he). Hey, I can play the game. I am using my feminine wiles to maneuver around the labyrinth of testosterone and survive in the man's world. Oh, yeah. I know how that works, and I have resolved never to accuse anybody or any company of being sexist. Come on. We are in the 21st century, are we not??

What sets me off, right at this moment, is the fact that somebody just asked me to "coordinate" a meeting to have the product team update the sales people. Or did he use "arrange"? What other verb can I use to make this task, say, less secretar-y? Strategize?

"Please strategize how we may bring the two parties together and create some synergy between the product and the marketing sides."

How does that sound? I am so good at B-S, I must say.

Of course this is not the first time this person has asked me to "strategize" the same meeting. Finally I grew some balls today (Thanks, Hillary! Or, rather, thanks, Amy Pohler on SNL) and asked him, "This sounds like meeting scheduling to me. Couldn't you ask one of the admins to do it?" He looked at me, in all seriousness, and said, "No. This job takes more than an admin. I need you to persuade people to participate in this meeting."

What am I? A sheepdog?

I dare anybody in this company to ask the men on my team to do any of the shit jobs I have been assigned to!

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