The Only Man in the Room

When the Majority Becomes the Minority

Billy Frazier
Aug 19, 2019 · 4 min read

As a straight, white, cis-gendered male, I tend to be in the majority.

This goes double in most work situations.

However, thanks to a recent work-related project, I had the chance to be a fish out of water. Over the past few months, I’ve been on a project where, during most days, I was the only man in the room.

As someone who recently joined the world of consulting, this is pretty rare. In most cases and in most rooms, I’m surrounded by salt-and-peppered white guys in suits. If you’re a visual person, go to any stock photo website and type in “business” — you’ll see what I mean.

After reflecting on this time, I noticed a few common thoughts that went through my head during most days:

I was frustrated

I was quieter than usual

I felt out of place

I felt more connected

I was more aware of the words coming out of my mouth

I learned more about the people around me

I learned more about myself

I felt more heard

Not only has this work been some of the most meaningful in my life — I’ve also been lucky enough to be on a team that could have easily made me feel unwelcome or unwanted. These women have shown me how to tackle big problems with a deadly combination of finesse and ruthless precision.

The thing is, other men don’t notice because they weren’t in the room.

William Frazier is a writer who is productively fumbling his way through a creative career. You can subscribe to his newsletter to make your Mondays suck a little less. He’s also on Twitter.

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Billy Frazier

Written by

I’m a designer and writer who enjoys making people smile. https://www.billyfrazier.is/

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

Billy Frazier

Written by

I’m a designer and writer who enjoys making people smile. https://www.billyfrazier.is/

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +724K followers.

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