I actually believed it was fading. But I guess I was being naïve. A lot of high earning women (and not-so high-earners as well) are still contending with gender bias and sexual harassment. Not all successful women have to confront these problems. But for those who do, they tell me it’s one of the most frustrating challenges in their career. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.
“I wish we were all treated equally, but that just isn’t the case,” one woman told me, and she went on to say. “The guys will get asked by the people who run the firm to go golfing but they won’t ask me because I’m a woman. So my peers are hanging out with the decision makers on weekends and I’m not invited. “
When I asked her how she lived with that, she just shrugged, “I’ve grown to accept it. I don’t like it but what can I do? I counteract by not messing up, not making mistakes, and working harder.”
The women I’ve talked to seem to have found a recipe for coping that relies heavily on recognition, not resignation—acceptance, not anger, and a large dose of humor. When they’d give me examples of obvious unfairness, I’d shake my head and wonder how they handled these situations. Their responses were remarkably similar. “I just have a good laugh,” they’d say, “otherwise I’d go crazy.”
I’d be really interested to hear from those of you who’ve experienced gender discrimination. What has kept you from going crazy?