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  1. #1
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Default Work/school environments and gender

    A discussion on another thread touched on the idea that men and women sometimes have different experiences on the job, in school, and when seeking employment or education. It became a bit of a tangent there, but I would be interested in learning more about this.

    I am putting this thread here instead of in Politics/Current Events because I want the focus to be on our actual experiences in the workplace, in school, or while attempting to pursue such opportunities. We will start from the assumption that there are no longer any legal barriers prohibiting either sex from any opportunity, which is the case for the most part in the US. (If your experience has been different, feel free to add that.) Feel free to share on any of the following questions or similar. Please include what type of work or school environment it is.

    • Has it been your experience that men and women who are equally capable receive equal respect on the job and in school? Is this dependent on the ratio of men to women?
    • Have you seen women given more "handholding" on the job than men? Have they needed it? How have they responded? How have other employees, male and female, responded?
    • Hae you seen members of one gender held to different standards or expectations than the other at work/school, assuming both are doing the same job or in the same class/academic program?
    • Have you encountered any gender-related hurdles or discouragements to pursuing your academic and career goals (i.e. something you would not have experienced were you of the opposite sex)? How have you addressed them, and how, if at all, have they impacted your academic and career choices?


    Again, this is NOT a political thread. The purpose is not to debate public policy, or even to suggest remedies to problems encountered, though if something worked for you or a friend or a colleague, please do share. The main goal here is to get some insight into how, if at all, the experiences of real men and women differ in today's schools, universities, and workplaces.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member anticlimatic's Avatar
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    I've already answered this in part, but to expound a little- I've noticed broad binary trends between the genders and an equally broad list of exceptions to those trends. Treatment in many ways is different, and in many ways is the same. Overall it seems easier to be a female employee since it comes with certain undocumented privileges, such as:

    Being able to show up late more often.
    Being able to take more days off for 'sickness/doctor' reasons.
    Being excused from heavy lifting and inhospitable environments.

    Men get some as well:

    Being able to be loud/crude to coworkers without much notice.
    An understanding that they'll eat community foods, but won't likely bring any in themselves.
    First dibbs on handling most of the pressing and exciting tasks.

    Overall I haven't seen or experienced any significant gender related problems. There is usually an ecosystem of individuals with skills and ineptitudes, and tasks that correspond with those- paired with a network of communication, respect, and understanding to some degree. After getting hired into their primary tasks, everyone gravitates first to what they like, and then to what they're good at. Things tend to balance themselves out naturally.

    The only problems I've seen with people on the job stem from either laziness or bullying- either just straight up not contributing, or trying to control others in petty and irrelevant ways just for the sake of control (Te/Fe doms are the most notorious for this). I've seen plenty of this in both genders.
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  3. #3
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    A discussion on another thread touched on the idea that men and women sometimes have different experiences on the job, in school, and when seeking employment or education. It became a bit of a tangent there, but I would be interested in learning more about this.

    I am putting this thread here instead of in Politics/Current Events because I want the focus to be on our actual experiences in the workplace, in school, or while attempting to pursue such opportunities. We will start from the assumption that there are no longer any legal barriers prohibiting either sex from any opportunity, which is the case for the most part in the US. (If your experience has been different, feel free to add that.) Feel free to share on any of the following questions or similar. Please include what type of work or school environment it is.
    I'll speak about the service industry I worked in for 20 years (men/woman ratio fairly even). (Lets call this A)

    I'll also discuss working in motorcycle shops as a mechanic I have been the only female working for the shops. (Lets call this B)

    I'll discuss working as a driver (1) and manager (2) at a warehouse. I have been the only female working in this company. (Lets call this C)

    All have had DIFFERENT dynamics!

    [*]Has it been your experience that men and women who are equally capable receive equal respect on the job and in school?
    No. It will ALWAYS be different. Not equal. For better and worse for men and women

    Is this dependent on the ratio of men to women?
    Yes!

    Job A? Came down more along gender lines. The men generally volunteered/or were volunteered for the heavy lifting. Getting ice, etc. The women handled the details. More men were in the BOH. More women in FOH.

    The women in BOH and men in FOH were indistinguishable in personality from their collective BOH/FOH mentalities.

    There was NO difference in capabilities. Both sexes excelled at the job and failed due to the same reasons.

    No call, no show.
    Being late.
    Stealing. Etc.

    Anecdote:



    ----

    [*]Have you seen women given more "handholding" on the job than men?
    YES! Of course!



    Have they needed it?
    Hand holding? Emphatic, no!

    How have they responded?
    Most women acquiesce to "hand-holding" because it's easier than fighting it (way easier!) and a lot of women go farther and exploit it! That's the mirror flip side to all this. Ah. That's another issue. Anyway.


    How have other employees, male and female, responded
    [*]Hae you seen members of one gender held to different standards or expectations than the other at work/school, assuming both are doing the same job or in the same class/academic program?
    Yes!

    It's funny. When I drove and worked with the drivers (all male) we all lifted 40-50 lb cases on the regular. No one stopped to take things out of my hands or ran over quickly to offer a hand. They got used to me (yay).

    Anyway, when I got promoted and they stopped seeing me do this everyday, something strange happened. They would offer to take cases from my hands if I was carrying them. They would rush over. Even men who NEVER did this prior when we were doing the same job.

    Now: was this due to my promotion? Idk. I don't think so but maybe. Still. I noticed this from my own boss who was the person who promoted me. It was just an interesting observation.



    [*]Have you encountered any gender-related hurdles or discouragements to pursuing your academic and career goals (i.e. something you would not have experienced were you of the opposite sex)?
    Yes! It's assumed I am not capable. I have to prove that. I start from the assumption of ignorant. Men who walk off the street get the assumption of capability. Even if their experience level isn't there.

    What is strange is that when I prove myself and I make an error? It's judged way more harshly. It's like I'm held to the lowest standard when entering the job and then the highest when in it.

    There isn't a lot of...forgiveness for women in this regard and I haven't figured out how to get around this. There is no middle ground capability for women. Either great or terrible.

    It's really bizarre. Where a guy can make more mistakes and he'll get ragged. He will be given a hard time - no doubt but then that's it. He's back to neutral. It's not held against him. With my experience, a woman doesn't get ragged at all or as much, but instead faith gets lost in their abilities and they have to prove themselves again and start from scratch to some extent.

    This is the most fucked up thing in my experiences. It's the one thing I wish I could find a way around. I don't think it exists.

    How have you addressed them, and how, if at all, have they impacted your academic and career choices?[/LIST]
    I've addressed what I see are assumptions made by others that impact how I do my job. I correct those because it's important.

    Some of those are assumptions that are not evil or malevolent but I have definitely had to straight up tell bosses this is who I am: hard working, dependable, don't baby me, reward me appropriately and if you agree I will hold you to that.

    It just sets a tone where they know where to step and where they don't. It has helped me and them out. Setting clear boundaries from the get go is important and the best advice I would give to any woman going into male dom fields or any field!!

    Don't assume they know how you like to be treated. More likely, they are apprehensive about the differences too. I know that doesn't sound "advanced" but that's how it is. You have to set your own tone or be subjected to theirs.

    Impacted my career choices? Never. If I want to do something I will do it.
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  4. #4
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I work in a traditionally manly field as a woman and am the only female in my department

    I get held to the same standards as the men in my position for the position that I hold (which is the paperwork and scheduling part of things... along with keeping the department running)

    there are some differences in how I'm treated by my coworkers though... I'm not blaming anyone though, because the difference all comes down to size as I'm only 5'2" and a lot of things I keep trying to do outside of my role come down to weight and size. I get a lot more help with some of the physical tasks because I simply can't reach some things that are high up or super heavy.

    When I worked in a liquor store, I worked front of the house and the guys were back of the house because it was assumed that I couldn't handle the kegs, though I never got a chance to try. Once again though, I'm kind of a short person.

    In sales though, we were held to different standards of dress and the girls were always told to flirt with customers and show off our bodies to make sales while the guys were just told to make a buddy... the guys weren't even told to flirt with female customers. My boss was a piece of shit, which explains a lot of that, but there was a strong double standard there which I haven't found elsewhere.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Yuu's Avatar
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    I'm sure there are many but for my personal experience the one that sticks out the most is this idea that women can't handle what men can.

    I worked 6 hrs a day ( before going to Dialysis) on my deformed feet, my utterly destroyed knees and with a missing disk in my lower back. It was agony after an hour but I never said a thing about it. So they assumed I was fine.

    I can't count how many times the guys there would whine and cry about a stomach ache saying " You KNOW how tough I am so it must be bad!" they'd whine constantly but then make sure every knew " But I'm still working!" I kept thinking " If you can't handle it then go home but for God's sake shut the hell up about it!"

    I see this all the time in moper physical jobs and even hobbies. I don't know if women notice it in other fields as well.

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    ❆King Quirky Mayflower's Avatar
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    I think everyone so far covered what I was going to say. When I was in school, I didn't notice any difference in regard to academic discipline. I only noticed the gender division of labor when working. I remember when we often renovate the building. Men were in charge of moving out the furniture, equipment and etc while women were in tasked with pulling weeds on the builder perimeter. However, women had to focus more on appearance, being more often positioned in the open.
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  7. #7
    Now with less salt. Methylene's Avatar
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    In school, girls were favorited. Since they were generally calmer and studied more, they could arrive later or not bring some assignments without being scolded. Boys would get a straight 2/10 and a negative note on their report. But the very few girls I met while studying STEM subjects had more difficulties than the boys.
    During high school I worked as a computer technician. I got some jokes from the customers like "where is the technician I called?" since I look very young and not like the stereotype of the classical nerd, but nothing terrible. I was even respected by my colleagues because I was a girl, still in high school, and I already knew how to deal in that field.
    When it came to academical choices, people would suggest me not to take IT. "You would be the only girl in your course, imagine how boys would react", but I have to say that Italy is really immature on this subject, especially when the elders are speaking.
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    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuu View Post
    I'm sure there are many but for my personal experience the one that sticks out the most is this idea that women can't handle what men can.

    I worked 6 hrs a day ( before going to Dialysis) on my deformed feet, my utterly destroyed knees and with a missing disk in my lower back. It was agony after an hour but I never said a thing about it. So they assumed I was fine.

    I can't count how many times the guys there would whine and cry about a stomach ache saying " You KNOW how tough I am so it must be bad!" they'd whine constantly but then make sure every knew " But I'm still working!" I kept thinking " If you can't handle it then go home but for God's sake shut the hell up about it!"

    I see this all the time in moper physical jobs and even hobbies. I don't know if women notice it in other fields as well.
    This is directed at you and not about the general thread:


    ~luck favors the ready~


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  9. #9
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. Now for my own answers. I will preface this by saying that nearly all my academic and professional experience has been in predominantly male fields.

    As an undergraduate, women were a rather small minority (<20%) in most of my classes. We had to work harder to get the attention of our (all male) teaching assistants, as most of them would focus on the male students and/or just chat about unrelated topics. There were, of course, exceptions, and I often went to my friend's TA instead of mine as he was a good and willing teacher.

    In grad school, I found things much more even handed. I always felt I was being treated with respect by instructors and classmates alike. I also had the opportunity to be a TA, though interestingly I was given the job because I was a woman and a native speaker of English. The university had a large heath professions program with majority female enrollment, and they wanted more female TAs in the basic science courses.

    In my PhD program, my advisor's group was atypically all female for a few years, including his wife who had her own business and worked with us quite a bit. We had a fair amount of female grad students (I would say ~30%) relative to many STEM programs, but very few female faculty (at most 2 out of 25 or so). A couple times I was very surprised to hear male faculty whom I generally respected being critical of these two women in very superficial ways (how they dress, hairstyle, etc.). I have no idea how the recruitment and hiring process for faculty was, though, so can't comment on bias or lack thereof.

    The situation is similar at work - many more men than women, but I feel respected and treated fairly. I do hear the occasional stray comment, like the criticism of the women professors, not so much about women collegues but about women in general. Sometimes it is presented as a joke. Other times in the manner of "everyone knows that women . . . ", a generalization that is usually unsupportable.

    In school, I never saw women students given (or needing) more handholding than men. There was one older student in my Master's program who would often step in and try to do something for me, rather than show me how to do it as our advisor had asked. I finally just asked him to stop - told him I wouldn't learn anything that way. I think it was just him, though. We never did get along, and to his credit, he stopped when I asked him.

    At work, I notice that when it comes to lifting/carrying anything, men are often quick to offer to do it for me, even if the item is well within my ability to carry. They don't make the offer to other men. I usually tell them, "that's not necessary - thanks". Some of them are more willing to accept this than others. On the rare occasion when I do need help with something heavy, I ask. Otherwise I don't see women get more handholding than men. If anything, it's the younger employees (millennials) who seem to need that.

    I have not seen either gender held to different standards or expectations than the other, but then I am probably not aware of some of the expectations placed on others. We have many male employees with young children, who freely take leave for their activities, medical appointments, etc. Sadly my work environment has become much less accommodating of flexible schedules than it once was, which affects everyone trying to balance work and outside responsibilities.

    I applied for an academic job in an all-male department a couple years ago, and didn't get it. Based on our resumes (yes, I eventually saw the hired candidate's), my qualifications were much stronger, and I know my interview went well. This is the first time in my career when gender bias might have influenced the outcome. Then again, perhaps it was something quite unrelated, e.g. they just "liked" the other candidate more, wanted to take advantage of his specific connections, etc.

    Interestingly, for the first time in my professional career, I now have a female boss. She is the worst boss I have ever had. Some of my coworkers think she lets me get away with more because I am female, but the evidence doesn't support this. She is a micromanager and a rules Nazi, and slaps whoever happens to be in her sights with the rulebook whenever she is in a bad mood. I think I am just better at staying out of her way.
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