We’ve Gotta Talk About: Sexism in the Workplace

It may have been a bit naive of me, but I really thought that the glass ceiling was beginning to crack. Feminism is being discussed more and more frequently. More females are taking a stand for equality. There’s a female presidential candidate. I thought that maybe things were headed in the right direction for womankind.

Turns out I was wrong.

Despite the company I work for having an incredible female CEO, it’s still a male-dominated industry. It’s hard enough being a female in automotive, but being a young female is the final nail in the coffin. My job requires me to travel to our suppliers and audit their manufacturing/quality system to ensure they’re meeting the standards of our company.

 While on a supplier visit this past Friday, I had to deal with an absurd amount of sexism. In addition to being the only female in the room, I was also the only person in the room who was consistently ignored. I was on the visit with a male coworker, and he was the one who was given business cards. When I asked a question, the answer was directed towards him. When I asked to see documentation, it was handed to him. The director of the facility asked me, “So what’s your job?” and when I responded, “I’m an auditor” he continued with “Oh, so he [my male coworker] is training you?”

 If I had rolled my eyes any harder they would’ve fallen out of my damn skull.

 I mean, I kind of get it…I’m a young female, you’re an older male, my job is to point out how bad you are at yours…Actually, nope. I don’t get it at all. The idea that I’m less qualified simply because I’m female is ridiculous. I promise my feeble little Lady Brain is just as capable of learning and performing this job and your big strong Man Brain. I’m sorry you’re so insecure in your ability to do your job well that you feel the need to demean the “easy target” in the room. That doesn’t mean I have to put up with your bullshit. It’s not my fault you have a small dick and overcompensate by being an asshole.

 Was that too harsh?

 Good thing I don’t give a fuck, huh?

 I am so sick and tired of women being treated differently from men. I am sick and tired of being told that I “just have to deal with it”. I should not have to “just deal with” being insulted, ignored, and disrespected.

 Due to the fact that I had other concerns regarding the plant, I took the issue to my boss, who I think handled it appropriately. First of all, he was not happy. He told me that if it happens again, to either terminate the audit and leave, or to give him a call and he’ll talk to the responsible parties and set things straight. He is also going to escalate the issue to other groups and leadership to ensure it never happens again. The coworker who was doing the visit with me overheard our conversation and took me aside to discuss exactly what happened and how I felt about it. He then called the personnel at the supplier and basically gave them a 20 minute lecture on equality and told them that if they want his continued support and help they will treat me with the same respect they show him because we’re on the same team and therefore equals. He even asked if I wanted a formal apology. I declined because I honestly don’t think it would be genuine. Some people just Don’t Get It.

 I’m lucky to have a boss and coworker who will stand up for me so I can get the respect I deserve. However, they shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t have had to take the issue to a male superior in order to have it resolved. I shouldn’t have had to go through it in the first place.

 It’s pretty clear that the glass ceiling is still present and it’s about 5 inches thick.