Monday, December 08, 2008

What I did

I'm sorry to keep you all in suspense, but after an intense couple of days of board meetings and presentations, I kinda crashed. And then it was a busy weekend, so I didn't spend much time on the computer.

What I did was mostly D with a little bit of E thrown in just because I'm human and SO not perfect. I calmly but firmly said to him "No, I don't believe that the problem with most non-profits - and the reason they have trouble getting the word out - is that their communicators and educators are mostly young, female, and have nothing but a degree in literature, I believe that the problem is that these young talented individuals are not given enough respect by the leaders of these organizations (that's the passive aggressive part - I meant HIM). The problem is that their work is valued less than the work of the programmers."

And then the next day, because I realized I was giving it too much brain space so it clearly still bothered me and was important enough to follow up, I sent him an email outlining why it concerned me and how I wished he would be able to offer me and my colleagues enough respect so that we could work together on a more equal playing field. And I cc'd it to my boss and the chairperson of the board, because I wanted him to take it seriously and not just brush it off as just another whiny female who's got her knickers in a knot.

Now I'm back at my computer and there is no reply from anyone. And the suspense is now killing ME!

I've worked in enough fields where I'm one of the only women at the management or board table that I've gotten used to holding my own when it comes to the odd bit of chauvinism. It's really not that prevelant anymore and what does exist is so marginalized by the honourable men in the room that I can brush it off. Just like in parenting though, you've got to pick your battles. I figure when the chauvinism masks a bully underneath, then it's worth standing up to.


Krista said...

I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't get a response at all. Bullies don't like being called out and it's way easier to ignore the person calling you out than to apologize or defend. I'm glad you responded the way you did, though. Thanks for standing up for all us young, energetic, passionate for a cause women!

Anvilcloud said...

There's some old fashioned thinking going on. Maybe you can be an instrument of change.

Pamela said...

well - I was collecting bail money just in case (:

Karmyn R said...

I think you handled that brilliantly.

Linda said...

Way to go Heather! You handled it well. I'm hoping the lack of response means that they are all embarassed about the situation.