Working ladies - do you feel/believe that there is gender discrimination at work?

  1. I work in a male-dominant field. For the most part (95% of the time), I think I am treated equally and respectfully. But boy have I really had to deal with a few patronizing jerks that I couldn't help but wondered if I was treated differently because I am a woman. Don't get me wrong, I've worked with difficult people in highly challenging and stressful situations and I don't play the gender card because I believe I should only be judged on my ability, skills and performance, but there were a handful of occassions that I just felt I was being treated differently, and being talked to in a very condescending way that I just couldn't imagine a male in my situation would get the same treatment.

    Am I being over sensitive? I know discrimination or bias, or prejudice is inevitable, we all have different opinions but I am talking about downright sexist comments/behaviors. Did you hear what H. Clinton's opponent said about her spending millions on cosmetic/plastic surgeries? Would he have said that to a male opponent in an attempt to belittle him? That was a low blow I think.

    Anyway, just curious what ya'll working laides think. Thanks.
  2. Oh yes, definitely there is gender discrimination. Unfortunately at 29 I have to say my career will not get further than this. We have a phrase in investment banks called 'glass ceiling' which pretty much explains itself. Unless one is truly exceptional (when you are a man you only have to be good ;)) and I am not because a lot of people have told me I don't deserve to be a proprietary trader, LOL, there is no chance of being offered the directorship, LOL.

    As for the treatment, I get it all the time :upsidedown:. Everyone calls me either a blonde bimbo or bimbo Bee :lol:, then my trader colleagues also try to drag me to the strip clubs (and succeeded when I came out of university eight years ago, LOL). However I am still here because my cost benefit analysis suggests that it is too lucrative to let go and besides the reason they call me names above is because - I am such a self-centred person :lol: - I think they all used to fancy me and I turned them all down!

    But more specifically to your issue, I think that you should lay low as long as it's not detrimental to your work; it doesn't seem so as far as I perceive. I take this view that if you are satisfied with your job, don't complain. It adds unnecessary troubles, everyone's perspective on you will change and they will start a campaign to find an excuse to fire you!
  3. Yes, I can relate to this topic. I work at a hedge fund and previously at large investment banks where the majority are male...It is extremely difficult for a female to climb the ladder unless like bee said , you're exceptional... It takes alot more for a female to prove themselves vs a male.... I also think by the time a woman has her first child and takes maternity leave , it is also looked down upon in terms of being promoted.... it's kinda discouraging..

    Men here love to get together at sports bars, strip clubs, or engage in sports convos all the time..I feel left out if I don't join their weekly football bets.....
  4. for sure, sadly it happens all the time. it was just one of the reasons why i left my old job...basically the guy in charge refused to promote women. the company lost a lot of valuable talent and ended up with some real losers in mgmt (not all, but a few, very old boys club). i've also been treated like a sex object rather than a co-worker more times than i can count. women have come a long way in a few decades, but there's still a long way to go.
  5. I think the last I read on the subject, studies were showing that women in the US now earn a bit over 76 cents for every dollar earned by men in the same job, so certainly a great deal of progress has been made in the last several decades!
  6. I think I've seen the pressure by women to act more like "men" and downplay their femininity to fit in with the "boys." It's a shame since society shouldn't think of femininity=weakness. It's just another dimension to ourselves, but unfortunately the boys club does not always see it that way.
  7. On several occassions, I felt that I had to be tougher and stronger and to defend myself more rigoriously (which gave the men an excuse to hand out the B label), and it is almost a game that some men play - they know what buttons to push.

    To the other poster, I agree that a lot of progress has been made, but a 25% difference in wages for a man and a woman in the same job doing the same thing is outrageous!

    I am not a big fan of H. Clinton's but if she runs for president in 2008 I will vote for her - just to see if she will do a great job, a much better job than her husband did. :yes:
  8. I've seen similar studies but they are highly flawed. They do not take into account the fact that a LOT of women take time off for pregnancy and child raising. It only stands to reason that if you take a lot of time off you're not going to get paid as much as someone who works consistently without a break. Plus you've got jobs like construction worker or garbage man that most women aren't part of and they make more money than say secretary or administrative assistant where most men don't work. So of course the pay for women will be less based on the work they do.

    I also work in the Financial industry and yes, it is dominated by males. But I do not think there's some conspiracy of discrimination against women out there. There just aren't a lot of women going into this field. My company TRIES to hire women...goes looking for them. But the ones who do choose this field basically have a ton of options because other companies are looking for them too.

    There are jerks out there no matter what and they are going to be jerks to people no matter what gender they are.

    That said...there's no way I'd want to work in our trading department - it's like a frat house down there. What is it about traders and strip clubs? I find the whole thing distasteful. But the women who do work down there kick butt, fit in, and are highly respected and given a lot of responsibility. They are able to handle the high testosterone level...I couldn't.
  9. In France it´s shown that women are paid for the same job 25% less than men. The "glass ceiling" expression is used in all fields.
    I have to say I´m so glad to live in Denmark for that reason, they really understood they need women as much as men in the working industry, so there is flex time, long paid maternity (and paternity) danish female colleagues say it´s still not 100% fair. But oh man, compared to France !!!
    I have to face yet a sexist comment, compared to France where it was just everyday....jokes, comments, could only be either sexy or friendly. Well in my male dominated field I managed to graduate top of the class and get a dream job......and leave that country !! The guys I know were so dead jealous they ´re still talking about it.......critizing of course.
  10. One of the main reasons I moved away from Detroit 10 years ago is due to discrimination. Detroit with its auto industry really is an old boys' network. It became clear very quickly that a lot of men thought women were better suited to stay working as secretaries. Well, I said to myself that the reason I went to college was so I wouldn't have to be a secretary. (Of course, I mean no offense to those who are and who are happy with that profession.)

    I'm now in San Francisco. I don't feel treated any differently because I'm a woman. As an added bonus, the weather is great and the city is fantastic!

  11. The reports I have seen were measuring pay differences of men and women doing the same job, but I think you make a very good point, that women continue to be dramatically over-represented in the lower-paying positions, even in what might be considered less of a "career track."

    In other words, a woman in a management or executive or other "career" position may receive maternity or family leave, but a woman in a lower-income hourly wage category may be permitted to use accumulated sick and vacation time for that purpose.

    Still, the last few decades have seen some changes, and while many can be argued to be largely of a cosmetic nature, women are still seen in jobs that they were quite openly prohibited from holding a few decades ago. There may not be many female construction workers, but today companies must do a bit of fancy footwork to avoid hiring women - they are no longer able to simply have a (official and written) policy of male-only crews!

    Thus in the past, it would not be possible to compare the pay rate of male and female construction workers, since there were no female construction workers!
  12. yes!!!
    in my office, the discrimination comes straight from my superior... and she's a woman with childs too, but she always avoid to have women's in her team. we work in an advertising company, where ideas and bonding between the team is very important. i was the only girl in her team.
    she told some of her friends that she don't like women because from her experience, every time she "raised" her women employee, and she can let her go without her supervision, things happens, like the girl got married and her husband told her to quit her job, or teh girl got pregnant and tok her maternity leave and maybe quit to raised her child. and she had to go through the hassle of "raising" another employee to replace the girl.
  13. BTW, what do you do? Are you a controller of some sort?

    I don’t understand the strip club thing as well because you must be getting 'no action' (as the men calls it) and desperate to go to a strip club and traders who go are usually of the ‘wide boy’ type (US = fraternity type). They drive flashy Porsches thinking that they can get any girl because they have so much money but in reality they are a bunch of impotent chauvinistic pigs hanging around together and probably not very good in bed (not that I know, LOL!).

    Actually one colleague enlighthened me why traders like to go to strip clubs; he says that a strip club is like a confession box in a church (I’m so amazed at this comparison :wtf:). He says that when you make money you go there to share your happiness with the priest (i.e. your favourite Anna/Dasha/Hazel, etc.) and when you lose money you go there to let it all out that you have sinned (i.e. you have burned people’s cash). Specifically to corporate advisory bankers; he says that strip clubs are where deals are struck and if you don’t go you would be left out!

    I don’t think that a firm takes up an anti-female policy when they look to hire someone but the problem lies ahead when you get in. The men don’t like it when you invade their space because a girl tends to break up the guy grouping and they get insecure because a girl coming in introduces an element of uncertainty that they cannot cope with. So they put up this pre-emptive barrier and makes fun of the girls to make themselves look 'cool' in the eyes of other guys.

    An example: today in the middle of trade, aside from the usual pornographic materials of Lindsay Lohan and Eva Longoria, I have been sent the music video of Jessica Simpson’s Sweetest Sin (such a crass song!) through the firm’s internal IM client that is customised into our trading program with added comment that ‘Your skin upon my skin would be the sweetest sin.’ He intentionally sent it in such a way that everyone in the proprietary trading group can see it. Other guys just laughed at my expense and because I am engaged, another shouted across the desk ‘It would feel so good, to be so bad!’ and started humming the rest of the song.

    I and another female proprietary trader get this every day and it can get pretty disgusting sometimes but we just leave it at that. We can’t do anything about it because to get to proprietary level, these people have to be pretty decent and the firm don’t want to irritate anyone given that other investment banks are circling like vultures and will poach if they suspect anything. And these guys know: that’s why they are so confident that they send these things through the internal IM! You just have to take it on the chin – there is a trade-off between unimaginable wealth and a nice work environment!
  14. I personally don't think that a corporation (when you get high enough up) would sacrafice the profit you could potentially bring them simply because of personal prejudices. I'm not trying to be idealistic: in fact, I think it's pretty cynical to say that almost everyone will do anything to profit. I think, in fact, that gender discrimination is very often the reverse... the playing field is leveled in order to be politically correct.

    As for the traders Bee...Bee mentioned -- I agree, my God, if the things that happened to women in the pits happened in any corporation, they'd be slapped with millions of lawsuits.
  15. That's exactly it! Everyone feels mroe comfortable with people who are "like" them...whether it's gender, color, political inclinations, family status,'re going to be more comfortable with folks who share similarities.

    I remember when I worked previously as a secretary for the State and all the other secretaries were female...but then they hired a man...a man in a wheel chair. He was a great guy. Very nice and professional, but once he was part of the group the whole dynamic changed. Everyone related to everyone else differently. Just the way life is.

    I don't necessarily blame guys for not treating women the same - I don't always treat guys the same. But the way it sounds like they treat you is just gross and wrong. I'd be ticked and give them a piece of my mind.

    There is a guy in our trading desk who is a family Christian man. The other guys know better than to invite him to a club.

    Anyway, I'm not a trader or anything. Just an analyst - a geek who likes to play with numbers on the computer...and go home to make jewelry. So I get to use both sides of my brain. :roflmfao: