I couldn’t believe what I was seeing at work…so much so, that I literally didn’t believe it and told myself to forget about it. I thought it was just me going mad. But it kept happening and continues to happen.
I’m being treated differently because I’m a girl.
People are not intentionally being discouraging (I hope) but it is really starting to show.
I was hired as a graduate engineer a the same time as my colleague who is also a graduate engineer, for the sake of this blog let’s call him John. John seems to be sailing his way through work, people respect him no questions asked and my boss praises him highly. And in his defence, he is an excellent engineer I don’t doubt it for a second.
But so am I.
I put in 200% everyday. I’m putting my all into my career, not just to get noticed but because I’ve worked so hard to get here, I’m not going to back off just yet. It’s just, the men at work are making my stroll up Mount Snowdon into a trek up the Himalayas. Which would be fine if John was treated the same way, but he isn’t.
When I first joined the company I was set the task of an efficiency project in the manufacturing department. The ideas I had to make improvements varied but were all viable but colleagues in the department insisted I couldn’t handle such a big project on my own. Two colleagues laughed in my face…I tried to laugh it off with them but couldn’t see what was so funny.
I managed to get my hands on the project in the end and have successfully taken control of it making a substantial saving for the company. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of myself and I’ve shown by example that I am capable. Great right? No.
That was just the base camp to the Himalayas. That was just 200 men telling me I’m not capable of doing my job and now I have to head to the next camping point for my next project.
At first I thought they were just being so cynical because I was new, then it dawned on me that I’m the only one they doubt and continue to doubt. How strong do I have to remain and for how long to gain the respect of everyone?
Is there a better way around this?
I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am now. I was actually thinking last week “I’ve made it! I’ve finally made it, I’m a success”. Oh boy, I’m just getting started.
What’s the title all about? When life gives you lemons, make champagne.
Various people in the company have told me that my personality doesn’t fit the stereotype of an engineer. I agree, I think I’d excel rapidly in a career in marketing or HR where my social, networking and communication skills would prove extremely useful. But why do something I know I’d be good at? I want a challenge. I love engineering, it’s completely out of my comfort zone.
So why make lemonade when I can make champagne?