Have Some Respect For The Young Women

23 Aug

We all know that there are some professions out there that are completely male dominated, right? Like banking or working on Wall Street or being an attorney. Yes, there are wonderful women working in those professions, but if you work in one of those professions you often find yourself surrounded by men, and older men at that. Not only is it hard to speak to older men who are of the Good Old Boy Club, but it is hard to feel welcome.

The other day one of my Facebook friends (who shall remain anonymous) posted this:

“Dear Male Attys in their 50s: No, I am not the paralegal. Yes I am under 30 and female. Please do not call me sweetheart and do not say ‘just between the girls.’ As a warning, I do not respond well to bullying or manipulation. And, by the way, I’m not a -itch  if I object or question something you do that I believe  is inappropriate under the rules of civil procedure. I’m just doing my job. Thank you. Truly Yours, Esq.”

At first I read this and thought, wow, she must have had a bad day, but then the more I thought about it the more I thought, Good for you!! I have to give it to her – she spoke her mind and said what a lot of young women were thinking – that they arn’t respected just because they are young women in their profession.

How many of you out there have been in a situation in which someone assumes, just because you are young, that you are a secretary or an assistant or the lowly intern? How many of you have found that just because you are young your opinions are not respected? How many of you think that just because you are young your older colleagues try to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do? How many of you have been in a meeting and suggested something only to have the older men laugh and push it aside?

This has happened to me quite a few times in my short career, and I have to admit that when it does happen it is sort of embarrassing. It makes me feel like maybe I am not worthy of being in the profession I am in or that I am not worthy of having other people respect my work. And having to explain to people that you aren’t the intern and are actual an attorney or a broker or a counselor or a doctor is awkward. And then they look at you with a scrunched forehead and their head tilted to the side as if they can’t possible comprehend how you could possibly be in the position thar you’re in.

And when this happens all you want to do is scream at the top of your lungs, “Yes, I am a young woman, but I am a _________, so respect me!”

I know that everyone has to pay their dues and has to put in the time before respect is given, I get that, but people can’t just assume that because you have a young face or because you’re attractive or because you are female that you are the secretary. I think that sometimes, just sometimes, people should respect you and remember that they were once in your position.

Any of you have similar experiences in your professions?

5 Responses to “Have Some Respect For The Young Women”

  1. Andrea August 27, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

    Yes, I experience all of the time. And unfortunately, due to other life pressures weighing in on me from every side, I chose to let it go. And I realize the guy I work for in a software reseller company in Northern Virginia is just a huge egomaniac.

    • Mrs. K August 28, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      Sometimes it is best to just let it go and move on – maybe to a job where they respect you. Good luck!

  2. Steph October 29, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    I get treated like this constantly, my work place is male orientated and im always made to feel like im jst young and like my opinions do not matter. I don’t get any sort of promotion and never get put on courses. I can honestly say that i get this feeling from some older females aswell. Im not sure what there problem is? I keep myself to myself i never get envovled in the trouble i talk to everyone and just be nice to everyone , yet im still treated like a dumb a kid. I am 23 and have worked in the same place for 5 years and i hate it.

    • Mrs. K October 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      Steph, that’s too bad. Unfortunately I do think that a lot of older people discount us and automatically think we don’t know that much just because we are young. If you hate your job and are unhappy with how others treat you then you may consider speaking to your HR administrator or whoever handles employee matters. You shouldn’t ever feel uncomfortable at work!

      • Steph November 5, 2012 at 10:45 am #

        Hello Mrs.K, thanks for replying to me, i agree definitely, they most certainly do. Ive accepted a new job and i hear a lot of complaints thats it mostly young people working there haha so perfect for me. Hopefully theyre much nicer than the others.

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