Despite the strides that women have made in the last 35 years, misogyny is still pervasive in America. With few exceptions the corporate world is still led by white men. Women still have to be better, work harder and longer hours and produce greater results than men – particularly in technical roles. There is a greater tolerance for women managers in administrative positions. Although I’ve heard any number of male colleagues refer to successful females as “bitches”. It seems, that for a certain segment of the male population, they remain uncomfortable having a subservient position to a woman.
Unfortunately, sexism is ingrained in many individuals of a certain age. It may be less pervasive among younger generations, but we at the tail end of the Baby Boom are still struggling with misogyny.
It is not my intent to stereotype all men over 40 in senior management positions. I am fortunate to work for a company that has numerous enlightened executives. The challenges are more often seen among middle managers that want to see similar folks in their ranks. It takes a strong senior management team to overcome the prejudices. The company that employs me makes efforts to achieve a workforce of diverse individuals and actively seeks to ensure an environment of inclusion that is welcoming to all. But not every person in authority buys into the corporate vision. That is a shame. I celebrate the corporate vision and applaud the fact that I have the privilege of being assigned to one of the most dynamic, diverse branches in my company’s US operations.
But we have a long way to go. There are those persons who need some remedial training in 21st Century hiring practices and culture. It is my hope that the enlightened senior managers recognize the challenges and invoke their authority to make much needed changes and change the face of the technical team.
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