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I am 27 years old and I have always been an alpha female. I have always been the leader of a pack, making sure everything got done correctly and everyone was safe. By the age of 15, I was a department lead, the first of the retail company to ever be that young. I took pride in my job and how I led my staff and that was just the beginning. I am in the medical field and not only do I tend to my patients, but I also handle the business side of things.
Unfortunately, being a female in the business world is not always easy. You would think that 2018 had changed the views on women in the business world but even being a long battle, it has yet to officially happen. We must fight to still really be heard or even taken seriously. I have worked for a company for three years handling everything possible to stay on the right side of the tracks. Being the only female having to deal with so-called big shot lawyers and narrow-minded money hungry men was extremely hard.
I remember my first conference meeting six grown men sitting around me and myself at the head of the table. I thought that this was a good sign but nope! It was part of the tactic to try and lower my defenses, so I would just go along with whatever they wanted. Little did they know who they were really dealing with! I sat there being nice and polite, only speaking when asked a question and even then, I gave short and simple answers. The phrase 'pick and choose your battles' is one I always remind myself of in everyday life and at this moment it was very true.
These men weren’t there to play nice, they were trying to size me up. The questions became harder and harder and way out of my scope of the medical field. For example, they would ask me about technology and merging companies together. Luckily, I had been around long enough to learn a few things 1) If you don’t know the answer, simply give the run around never, show weakness 2) Your poker face is the best face. I smiled and answered each question as if I was taking a test and I knew each correct answer. Sitting at this table of six highly educated men bouncing questions off me like ping pong ball, I felt myself becoming more agitated.
I understand some men think women don’t fully grasp the world and hey! Some probably don’t but to judge what they don’t know yet, it’s just pitiful. I left that meeting with all six jaws dropped in disbelief, especially after I stood up and ended the meeting to go back to doing my job instead of the dick measuring contest they were trying to have with me. This was just the first event that started the hassle of the next two years.
Now that I have learned some tricks of the trade in the specific area I was working I felt it was time to part ways and venture out on my own but much to my surprise, these men felt the need to try and tarnish my name and try and make it where I could not leave. This truly upset me and even lit an even bigger fire under my rump. I was even at one point told: “to be the good little girl you are.” I was solely judged on being a female and not on the hard work and countless hours I was pouring into this company none of it mattered. If I was a man doing the same things, I would have been praised and given good references.
Yet instead of just basing anything off the work I did they decided to go to other big companies and try to ruin my reputation. After three years of amazing service, that’s what it came down to, a few calls to try and end it all for me. Thankfully I don’t ever give up and I continued to contact companies, especially the ones who thought negatively of me to try and clear my name. Because I am so anal, I had proof of everything I had ever done for the company, so I had no problem clearing my name, but it was a huge hassle.
My story is not over yet, I am just getting started but my hope is for all the women reading this is that you NEVER give up. Some men will treat you as equals but then some men will steal your ideas for credit and act like you need to be back in the kitchen and not leave. Rise above! Rise above the inequality of the business world. Stand firm in what you believe and push through the thresh hold until someone hears your voice and words instead of your gender.