An Open Letter to Managers of Women
Jason Shen
3.4K153

Dear Jason,

We need to talk about your Medium post.

Most of what you’ve written is true, and it’s an important subject. But the article is hugely patronizing — and that’s also important.

From the very first sentence, you assume that my manager is a man, and that only he has the power to control my career. You talk about women being given raises, and being put in front of senior leaders, and being shown how to do better.

By addressing men only (albeit implicitly), you cut women out of the conversation entirely. You speak for us while filling space with fake empathy via references to dick jokes.

It only gets worse during the epilogue, when you reveal the fact that the entire post was inspired by your female peers and colleagues. The recognition you give them feels a bit “less glamorous” than the byline you gave yourself, doesn’t it?

Every day, I wake up feeling empowered to make things happen for myself. But after reading this, I feel like I should sit and twiddle my thumbs while I wait for unnamed male superiors to heed your call.

I appreciate what seem to be positive intentions (and the fact that you’re writing them on Medium!), but think the #facepalm is pretty justified.