01 March 2006

I Swear, I'm gonna wear a strap-on to work tomorrow....

... and see if it doesn't increase my visibilty. Y'see, I'm been working on a project with a male co-worker, and despite that fact that we've pretty much split the design work and I've done the lion's share of the coding (while he was equally busy with database and hardware configuration), people keep approaching him to talk about the work. I don't mind when they talk to him about the database and hardware configuration (see above), but when it's about the overall product, the design, the code, the presentation, I start to feel a little bit ignored. This is a product I worked late in the evenings to deliver, I came in on weekends. He didn't. I usually just move in more closely and include myself in the discussion, assuming that I have something to contribute. I do.

After it had happened several times in a row this morning, however, I stood up and pointedly walked away. In retrospect, not only was the point missed, I lost some credibility by doing so. Clearly I wasn't interested in the product's future development.

And here's the rub: even though I recognise the sexism and my male co-worker has even started to notice the inequity, I haven't yet confronted it head on. I haven't spoken up boldly to each perpetrator and said, "Excuse me, you'll want to include me in this discussion."

Inside I'm frustrated and I'm angry and I just feel like crying like a woman.

96 Comments:

Anonymous Ingrid said...

I can understand being angry. I think you've hit the nail on the head though when you say you haven't spoken up yet. It's crap that they aren't noticing your input, and they should notice, but it sounds like if you don't say something, they'll continue not to notice, therefore continuing to piss you off. Sorry for the long sentence there.
And everybody cries, even men, so don't beat yourself up about being a girly wuss because you're not.

5:19 pm  
Anonymous novarse said...

Are they aware of how much input you have and what aspects of the project you are responsible for? Maybe early on, I'm guessing here, he was seen as the spokesperson for the project and this image hasn't changed or been challenged. People often don't notice things unless they are pointed out. Good luck with being recognised for your worth:)

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Anonymous lin said...

I don't think you need a strap-on. Consider that there might be more than gender at play here. Could it be that the questioners subconsciously can pick up on your attitdude or resentment?

What if you were to approach your co-worker with a helpful, pleasant demeanor and ask if he would include you in the conversations, as you are interested in the outcome and knowledgeable about the product.

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