I recently had a conversation with a woman engineer about our experiences working with other women in our respective fields. She works in the Aerospace industry and I work in the Technology field. We’re both black and work in male-dominated sectors. Turns out we both had the same experiences working with women: Negative. In this article today, which might be controversial to some, I’ll provide my experience working with women in the Tech field.
Before I start, I must say that these are my experiences only. You may have had no problems with women. I’m happy for you because I like to work in an calm environment. Finally, what I discuss regarding my working relationship with women over the years does not apply to all women.
My Experience Working With Women In The Tech Field: The “Sisterhood” Is A Lie
Since I work in a primarily male-dominated sector, the few women who work in the Technology field like to band together. I see no problem with that because we do go through different events at work and need another woman to share those concerns with. Also, it’s nice to discuss “women” topics from time-to-time.
Eventually, a few women develop a group for additional women in Information Technology (IT) to join in the company, and I end up going to some meetings. This group preaches about “women sticking together” and “developing a sisterhood” within the company, but as the time passes, that “sisterhood” becomes a lie.
It becomes that because I’ve seen so much in-fighting between the women in Tech. The competition for promotions or projects divides them. I personally have been called out by other women twice in my career. Each time the other woman felt threaten by me because I had more experience and/or skill. The woman in each instance thought I would lead a coveted project even though I never put myself in the running.
Having to work with someone trying to sabotage your work, or spread rumors about you, or even go to your boss and tattle about you is so tiresome. It saps my will to work. And I love working!
Now, I have nothing to do with women’s groups at work. They can preach all the sisterhood they want. I’ve seen the real result.
My Experience Working With Women In The Tech Field: Women Tend Not To Help Unlike Men
Both myself and the woman engineer I spoke with on Twitter had the same experience while working with women: They will not help you succeed in your role, but men will.
Again, this goes back to competition in my opinion. There are some women in management roles who did have a hard time getting those positions. Yet, when they see another woman trying to get into management or take on a prominent project that will improve her career, those women see that individual as trying to replace them.
With my experience working with women, these individuals believe there can only be a certain number of women in management or executive roles. Hence, they keep other women from rising up the ladder. Yet, they smile in your face and give lectures about women helping each other.
Finally, I these women fear appearing unintelligent or inexperienced when compared to others. Hence, there are some self-esteem issues at play.
Men Have Helped Me More Than Woman In My Career
Let me discuss how men, especially older white men, helped me more in my career than women.
I know there are women who believe men don’t want women working in male-dominated fields, and won’t take them seriously. Unfortunately, there are men like that but they are a small minority.
In my opinion, men don’t see women as competition. Men compete with other men. However, these same men will do anything they can to help a woman succeed. Maybe that’s because they really want to help, or they are trying to keep the women to stick around instead of leaving. Whatever the reason, men do take us seriously at work!
I had men go to my boss and explain how well I did on a project. Men also took me under their wing to teach me a new skill-set or how to handle a tricky problem. They took time out of their day to mentor me and provide crucial feedback.
That’s why I can’t get behind the women who say men don’t take us seriously at work, or they won’t help us succeed. I know that’s not true because each and every man I’ve worked with at my various Technology jobs over the years supported me.
Even though my experience working with women hasn’t been rosy over the years, I do not allow that to stop me from helping any woman or man in the Technology field. I provide mentorship to anyone who needs it and is willing to put in the work. If I want the woman coworker relationship to change for the better, I must infuse positivity into it. I must support my fellow women so they can support other women.
Thanks for visiting my website and reading this post! Make sure to bookmark my website so you won’t forget to visit! And remember…