Is your boss shutting you down because you’re a woman? Does he treat you differently because of your gender? Then here’s how to sort him out.
I’m amazed by just how many people say that you should ignore a sexist boss. This should be absolutely unthinkable. I mean, we already live in a world in which women earn less than men for the same jobs, in which women are told that buying tampons is a luxury, and in which capitalism capitalises on this inequality by creating adverts that discuss wage inequality while promoting haircuts and shoes. Please… Ignore a sexist boss? I don’t think so!
Educate Them: Much like homophobia, racism and xenophobia, sexism is a sign of ignorance. But this is the time to be the bigger person and actually, disseminate some knowledge and common sense. Don’t confront your boss during an important meeting, unless they’re being really rude. Instead, set up a meeting or find them alone and ask them why they say or act the way they do without accusing them or attacking them.
Face Them: Have your concerns fallen on deaf ears? Then maybe it’s time to truly explain to them what they’re getting wrong. Do they ignore your suggestions in a meeting? Do they pass sexist remarks in front of you? If they do, confront them head on by pinpointing the flawed logic behind their actions.
Be Bold or Be Subtle: Do you feel like you’re given certain work because you’re a woman – work that isn’t necessarily part of your remit? Then ask why this sort of work is always being assigned to you without mentioning your gender and watch them wriggle their way out of it. Do they say things to you which they would never say to a male colleague in a million years? Smile and ask them if they would have said that to a male colleague.
Be Clear: If your job is not to plan team events or set up meetings, then be clear that you’re there to do your job, to learn, to grow in the role, and to be successful. All too often, women get lumped with what is often referred to as the office housework. Don’t let this happen to you.
Most men will never understand the struggle of being a woman in an industry dominated by men. None of my male colleagues understood why I was offended when in a room full of architects referring to each other as ‘Perit this’ and ‘Perit that’, I was the only one being referred to as ‘Evelyn’, even though I had the exact same qualifications, level of experience and warrant.
Needless to say, standing up for yourself will never be easy, and you may very well be met with resistance or snide remarks. And that is a risk you’ll have to take if you’re truly fed up with being a second class citizen every single day.
Do you have any other advice on how to deal with a sexist boss?
Let us know in the comments section below.