No way you can do that….. Ok, Prove it.

In the spirit of International Women’s day.

I have not experienced a lot of the prejudice women in STEM report in the workplace. There’s however one prejudice that I have faced in multiple work environments. I can’t quite conclude if it has to do with being female or if its my general demeanour that informs this treatment.

It’s that I have to prove that I can truly do what I say I can do as well as I say I can before I can be counted. I’ve faced this twice when switching jobs, a number of times when switching teams and working with people for the first time.

I’ll like to chalk it down to a general distrust of new people to the workplace but I see other people as new as I am have their voices heard above mine. They believe and trust the men without them needing to prove themselves first. I’ve seen my comments and suggestions dismissed without consideration. I’ve also seen my suggestions that were dismissed without a chance of scrutiny get accepted the very next day when another person(man) puts it forward. All of these and countless more examples. These things generally go away after working together for a while and ‘proving’ that I really do deserve a seat at the table.

Sure there are imes when I truly know nothing. BTW, I like being in a room where everybody else knows more than I do. It usually means I’m in the right place. I like to think of myself as a knowledge fleece. Always willing to attach myself to people who know and soak up what I can learn from them.

And so I acknowledge that sometimes I truly don’t know but a significant other number of times, I can see a different assessment of new men and women to the same team.

I hope that by not giving in and hiding in a corner for fear of being shutdown, I make the path for women coming after me easier. To all women that keep pushing through all prejudices and come out stronger, Happy International Women’s day.