It’s 2015. It’s been over 50 years since JFK signed the Equal Pay act. The gender gap between recent med school graduates is essentially nonexistent. In the past two years, the Fortune 500 list has seen more female SEO’s than ever before.
There’s no doubt about it. Strides towards equality in the work place are slowly, but surely, being made.
That being said, when it comes down to the day to day attitudes of many people in the office, there’s still ignorance towards how women should be treated.
Let me elaborate with an example. Say your coworker, let’s call her Karen, poaches a client from you. You’ve been working with this client for months, and everything’s been going fine. But somehow ol’ Karen managed to sweep in and steal this client from right under your nose. “What a bitch!” you think to yourself.
Ok. Let’s stop right there, because this is important. Jumping to the “bitch”; we’re all guilty of it. Your initial reaction was to brand Karen with that scarlet “B”. Not to sound incredibly cliché, but would you have done this if Karen was a man? Or would you perhaps have spent a few seconds looking at the facts surrounding the situation. Perhaps you’ve been neglecting the client lately. You’ve been really busy with other accounts and just haven’t had been able to give this client the appropriate amount of attention. It happens. However, Karen saw this as an opportunity to improve her current standings. Can you really fault her for this?
When a man is assertive and cutthroat, we call him a “go-getter”. When a woman is confident and goes after what she wants, we call her a “bitch”.
It’s a ridiculous double standard that even we’ve been guilty of perpetuating. So ladies, this is what I propose: don’t let the “Bitch” get you down. If you’re strong and self-assured, there’s a chance you’ll be hearing it the rest of your life. These comments are useless jabs coming from school yard bullies. Just let it go; it means you’re probably doing something right.
“When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.” - Tina Fey, Bossypants