Added: Louisa Braud - Date: 27.06.2021 17:25 - Views: 26492 - Clicks: 1534
in. Perceived worth and prove-it-again culture hold us all back. I just read an article by Judith K. Lang Hilgartner in the Ascent about a time they adeptly handled a situation in which their authority was challenged because of their perceived age. We have both been taken less seriously in our jobs because of our appearance — and there is only so much that one can do to change it.
Hilgartner was able to turn the situation into a teachable moment, while maintaining control of the situation and retaining her authority. Learning to deal with these sorts of intrusions on the spot requires mental agility and a small catalogue of pre-prepared responses. Every time we encounter If you dont look that demands we prove our credentials, we can learn something from it, and hopefully become that little bit more adept at rebuffing such assumptions in future.
At the time, though, it can be uncomfortable and defeating — and each incident certainly makes us a little more jaded. And it holds them back, and it holds organisations back. After all, until very recently they found it inconceivable that this person was qualified at all. You begin from a position of disadvantage, and then you have to do more work than your colleagues who look the part.
And then there are the additional barriers placed in your way — Hilgartner found that other colleagues denied her access to things she needed to be able to do her job — because they disbelieved that she was there in a professional capacity. You might even end up being disciplined for asserting yourself, such are the fragile egos of sensitive men.
I tried as hard as I could, got pushed right back when I objected to being treated that way, and I compensated by throwing myself harder into other areas of my life. If you can work the situation to your advantage, like Hilgartner did, then you absolutely should.
And there are other ways to get on in your career, and sometimes it does take a long time to find them. Some workplaces are better than others, and there may be the option of going freelance. And this thing, whatever it is, deates you as incapable-until-proven-otherwise.
And why should it be that way? In the business world, we focus on the individual when it comes to self-improvement and career development. All of us, at whatever level in an organisation, need to reflect upon our beliefs and desires for the organisation and our personal career plans. But if you are in a position to do so, please be a good ally and encourage others to speak up and change their attitudes, too.
This waste of talent and marginalising of those who do not match the majority will continue unless those with power do something to end it. Speaking of allies, it can be difficult to find them, but they do exist. There is one positive that we can take away from this unjust situation. The more practiced If you dont look become at deflecting such ignominies, the better you become at a lot of other stuff.
Having to justify yourself repeatedly means you need to be an agile and quick thinker, and you need to be resourceful with what opportunities and knowledge you can access. And it must be costly spending all that cash on hiring and diversity initiatives to not see any benefit from it. Welcome to Code Like A Girl, a space that celebrates redefining society's perceptions of women in technology.
Share your story with us! Get started. Open in app. Code Like A Girl. in Get started. Get started Open in app. Katy Preen. I breezed in the building, holding the door for the…. I went to a software developer…. Journalist, author, feminist. from Code Like A Girl. More From Medium. Learn to live with empowered women! Shivani Acharya. This Body of Yours. The power of women when we support each other; ways to uplift our sisters. Tamara Theresa. Working with a Lady Boss!
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What if you don’t look the part?