(Closed) Bees who work in male dominated profession

posted 6 years ago in Career
Post # 18
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I work in such an environment and many, many of the men I deal with are ex-military.  I’m commonly  the only of maybe 1 of 2 women in large meetings but I don’t even notice it anymore and no one really treats me any differently.  Most of “us” are not meek and mild little flowers.  We wear our hardhats and safety shoes, tramp around in the mud, and stand in the rain if that’s what we need to do.  I’ve had to work hard for them to recognize me for my expertise but it’s gone fairly well.  I did have a site commander refuse to shake my hand one time so I just walked on by like he was a turd…because he was a turd.  I’ve also had commanders seek me out to thank me for my support. 

Post # 19
Member
9130 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA

@GeorgiaBride5:  I’m a wildlife biologist and the field is definitely professionally dominated by men (although there are more female biology/ecologst grad students now than male). I’m petite and look young and (god this sounds lame) apparently good-looking, so I feel like those characteristics sometimes help – the men like me more automatically, etc – and sometimes hurt – not taken as seriously because female and look ~22. Meh, it is what it is.  I get along well with guys and I do appreciate not having to deal with a bunch of drama-crazy women. (I have a couple female coworkers but they’re super chill.) my Fiance is a nurse and he does have to deal with crazy catty women in his workplace, lol. 

Post # 20
Member
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@GeorgiaBride5:  I’m the associate editor of two trade publications that cater to researchers and engineers, so yes — it can be a challenge to be taken seriously at times. I have my BA in English, so I make the engineers who contribute articles for us sound much better.

I especially feel this when I attend tradeshows and walk the exhibit floors. At some of the booths, the male product managers/engineers/what-have-you will look me up and down and talk to me like I don’t belong there. It can be discouraging.

Post # 21
Member
501 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@lina010:  Agreed – there are two fairly senior women who I’ve been advised to seek out as “mentors” and yet they could not be more standoffish or less helpful.  They’re both retired military officers, though, so I wonder if they’re of the mindset that they had to ‘go it alone’, so I should, too?

 @leenh78:  Ugh, I was at an engineering-related conference last year and b/c it was “old home week” for the more senior people for my firm, I ended up spending close to 14 hours straight working our booth at the expo one day.  There weren’t TOO many creepers/oddballs, but the ones that did stop by…hoo boy.  The worst was the older gentleman (and I use that term loosely) who bypassed anything even resembling a professional conversation and just asked me what I’d be wearing to the closing gala…WTF?!

Post # 22
Member
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@loveandapitbull:  Wow — I never got anyone who looked at me in that type of a manner (to my knowledge, anyway), but I get men who are taken aback when I’ve asked them questions about a certain product’s technical specifications or applications.  They look at me like I shouldn’t know enough to ask these types of questions; in a way, I can’t say I blame them since I don’t have their backgrounds. But at the same time, I’ve worked for science/tech trade pubs for about 10 years now — so I do know enough to ask basic questions!

Post # 23
Member
1585 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@GeorgiaBride5:  Hey, high five, I work in another engineering environment. I actually worked with almost exclusively women before this in a doctor’s office, so the switch was drastic. From an office with only one guy to an office where I am one of 3.5 (one is part time) women.

 

I. Love. It.

 

I’m not a girly girl, so pretending to give a crap about reality TV, People magazine, celebrity culture, fashion or gossip was driving me mad. I was not mentally stimulated and I didn’t like who I was becoming. I could tell you about Lindsey Lohan’s latest wreck or who broke up with whom, who was voted off The Bachelor (without ever seeing an episode) and so on. SO not me.

 

Now I work with guys where we talk about good TV shows, science, video games, raunchy humor (oh god, we swear endlessly. In my other job, I got in trouble for saying “damn” by accident). We have light sabers and nerf guns which we sometimes play with. It’s a great work environment.

 

Not to mention I love the bathroom situation. My office is part offices, part giant testing lab, so our facilities are huge. We have 4 ladies rooms and only 3 people most days. Which means I get my own private bathroom.

 

I was worried at first that I would deal with sexism in the workplace, but once they saw I was a hardass who was willing to step up, they taught me to drive the forklift, let me deal with samples and shipping and even trust me for stupid things they shouldn’t trust me for (the head of the company literally trusted me with his life last week. That was scary).

 

 

Post # 24
Member
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MrsFutureG:  So with you on the conversations you have at work, as I prefer raunchy humor, talking about sports, and good TV shows to girly things like the Kardashians, Sex and the City, and US Weekly. Throw a Caddyshack quote at me and I will recite entire scenes. I get the “man’s woman” comment thrown my way a lot.

Post # 25
Member
1585 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@leenh78:  It’s great! When I began, I said I was one of the guys and they were like “yeah, sure, uhuh.” So they’d break out into classic rock and I’d belt out the next line, or they would quote Demolition Man and I’d do my horrible Stalone impression, they would be shocked at first.

But HELL YES. With this stupid Kim/Kayne baby, I can imagine myself losing braincells over the discussions at work.

 

Post # 26
Member
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I work in finance, which is probably 95% male in the professional ranks (all our admin staff are female).  I’m one of very few professionals who are female and probably sit in the middle of the ranks.  

Generally I’m treated fairly but it’s hard not to notice when you’re the only woman in a room full of men.  Overall, I would say there are times when it’s an advantage to be a woman and there are times when it’s a disadvantage.  Some of the older guys I deal with are quite open minded and fair and enjoy dealing with me (presumably a refreshing break from interacting with yet another guy) but there have also been times when I’ve been outright snubbed for no other reason than not looking like everyone else.  It can definitely be discouraging, but now that I’ve survived and thrived in this career, I feel I can be a good example for young women who want to enter a male-dominated field and that’s a good motivation for me.

Post # 27
Member
10363 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I work in science (pharma) and am surrounded by men. I think, like 85% of the time, I feel like I am treated equally. Last week, I was in a meeting and misheard what concentration a chemist was asking for with a sample set and I got explained to me by TWO different men in the room what the difference was between mM and uM. Which is one of the most insulting things you could do to a molecular biologist who regularly screens compounds.

No way would they have said that to a man. No way. I was FURIOUS.

Post # 28
Member
697 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@MrsFutureG:  Same goes for music for me, too. I love classic rock like Rush, which is known as more of a guy’s band, and eschew girly Top 40 music in favor of bands like them. I want to listen to musicians who write their own songs — not the auto-tuned crap you hear a lot of today. Man, I’m sounding old.

I’ve been to two Phish festivals with my FH (who loves them), which involved camping out and not showering for a few days. I loved it. Could’ve dealt without being around some of what I saw with neighboring concertgoers, but it’s a Phish show — it’s expected.

Post # 29
Member
1585 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@leenh78:  I never was big on Phish, but I hear what you’re saying. All of my girl friends love blasting the top 40 stations. I’m open to new music but I grew up listening to my parents’ music. I love classic rock. My Fiance hates modern music more than I do! 

 

Similar backgrounds, similar music tastes and nearly wedding twins…y’know, we might have something wonderful here. 😉

Post # 31
Member
1400 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I’m still young (23) and my professional career is in a field dominated by women (I’m going to school to work with special needs) but I’m also a trucker’s daughter and my career by association is in the construction field. My step-dad own’s an array of truck (dump trucks and an bunch of specialized trucks that do some pretty cool jobs. I do the administrativey side of things but I spend a fair bit of time on job sites shoveling dirt too. People literally honk when they see a young woman shoveling. It is ridiculous. But there are also a lot of people who recognize that I can just work as hard as the boys or do office stuff, I am just that versatile 😉 Once they realize who I am, I don’t get any flack from anyone but I do have to prove myself a little harder sometimes. But once you’re in, men secretly adore women who can be girls but still dig for 11 hours when that’s what needs to happen. The worst is when I have to go buy parts or get something fixed. They try to rip me off a lot (I’m a young girl, what could I possibly know about vehicles or engines right?!?) I’m pretty good at explaining to them how I know they are trying to pull one over me but alas, they cannot. As soon as they realize you know what you’re talking about, they shut it down pretty quick.

I’m pretty sure that secretly they’re threatened because I know as much as them AND I have boobs. All the power, I tell ya :-p

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