good statements for women to practice:— gem Ⓥ (@vegbby) November 15, 2017
1) you interrupted me. i’m not finished talking.
3) that isn’t funny
4) that isn’t appropriate
4) i already know that
5) that won’t be necessary
6) leave me alone
7) you’re making me uncomfortable
8) stop ignoring what i’m saying
"Exac…" my half-formed word hangs in the boardroom air, ignored. I try again. "Exactly what I was…" and trail off. Getting the room to listen today is challenging and I can’t help wonder whether this is correlated to the fact that I’m often the only woman in a meeting room with six men. Sometimes being the only woman on a project means everyone is deferential to me and other times it means I’m left out of the conversation. Either way, in male-dominated industries, my gender always seems to matter in some way and in this meeting it’s rendered me invisible. I don’t say, "You interrupted me. I’m not finished talking" because I still want to be liked. I’m a woman after all.
Now this I’ve got good at saying. There was a time when I used to think that my worth at work was being the one who would pull an all-nighter or whip up a deck over the weekend. Then I had a baby and availability was stripped from my arsenal and I learnt that I do better work when I’m not strapped to a desk 65 hours a week. I’ve set boundaries. If I need to leave, I leave. I say no to meetings at 7pm. I don’t pander to panicky managers. And I call bullshit on faux deadlines.
No, colleague: how racist your father-in-law is, isn't funny.
"Please don’t wheel me into a boardroom so there are more women 'representing', it’s not appropriate." This is awkward. My male colleagues understand there’s a gender diversity issue so they’re trying to address it by encouraging me to get involved but I’m left feeling that my worth is a diversity quota and calling them out on it leaves them feeling like they can’t win.
I love explaining things a little too much so didn’t need to pull this one out of the bag. I apologise to anyone this week who really wanted to say it to me.
The unnecessary offers stopped when I hit 31, disappointingly. I don’t know whether to be sad or relieved.*
See above; men don’t harass me anymore. Instead I tried this out on my son's nursery. They always call me rather than his dad even though his dad drops him off and picks him up. I’m the one they email to sign a form. I’m the one they text to tell me he’s not eaten any lunch. CALL HIS DAD!
When five 40-year-old British men banter about Big Train, a British sketch show from 1998, making me and a young female in the room feel like we don’t get comedy or understand ‘funny’ because we can’t join in their banter, I feel uncomfortable.
If I said "stop ignoring what I’m saying", it would sound whiny. If a man said it, it would sound aggressive. Somewhere in the future, someone is saying those words unclouded by gender. Until then, I’m not going to say that sentence, but I will say this: the serially ignored aren't going to have the guts to speak out either. Look around you and if you think there might be someone who isn’t being seen, lend them your voice until they find their own.