Today I thought I'd share something totally different but something I've experienced first hand - sexism in the work place. I used to work for a library service in London and had no issues what so ever, in fact my unfortunate run in wasn't even with someone who worked for the service but someone who was working for the people who owned the building. It still gets me riled up but has helped make me more determined than ever to make it with my own business.
It all started as any other day. I was the highest ranking member of staff on site during the lunch hour period and was covering the library on my own, my male colleague was in the back room doing a few bits and pieces behind the scenes but as the door was open linking the two rooms he was visible from the front desk.
I'm working away discharging books ready to put them out for the next customer when an architect comes in and asks for the manager. The library manager was on her lunch break at the time, so I asked if I could be of any help.
Well this is when I almost lost the plot. I'm not entirely sure how I didn't get fired or managed to hold my tongue or not attack him with a large hardback I had in my hands.
He saw my male colleague in the room behind me and simply said 'well he's a man so he must be charge. Got get him. Off you go.'
I think my jaw hit the floor and it took me a few moments before I realised he wasn't joking. He was being totally serious. I told him I was in charge and he simply replied 'Yeah but he's a man, so go get him will you sweetheart'.
I was utterly raging to say the least so I walked back to my male colleague and told him he needed to go out there before I got fired or got arrested. My colleague dealt with the situation and I went back to my office to cool off and try to get over what had just happened.
An hour later I finished work for the day, packed my stuff up, said goodbye to everyone and walked from my office to the car park. Sadly my journey was interrupted by Mr Pig who asked if I only worked part time. When I replied that I did he said 'Oh so you've got a rich husband who pays for your Mini Cooper then have you?'.
I wish I could say I was joking.
I still to this day do not know how I didn't run him over on my way out. I still don't know how I didn't get fired but I do know that it has definitely given me the kick up the arse that comes with being a woman in business.
Why should I be looked down on because I'm a woman? I was the highest ranking member of staff regardless of sex and yet he thought it was totally okay to degrade me because I wasn't male?!
Have you ever experienced sexism in the work place?
Until next time,