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A Working Woman Speaks (for all working women):

26 January, 2009

I had been talking recently to my niece about her experience as a (single/widowed) working woman. She kindly e-mailed the following to me with permission to print it. I know her story is and has been a common one since women entered the workforce. I thought a personal note might be another way to make the case for equality. In the end, the company suffers by creating a hostile environment where women are not acknowledged and respond by giving less than their best or leaving at first chance, but I guess they just don’t see it.

It’s the year 2009 and women have come leaps and bound from the times of women being “less than” a man, being “just” a housewife or a Mother. It’s a time when a women can do anything a man can do, right?  Or so we’d like to think……I have worked in Corporate America for over 20 years – I have risen in roles, I have worked my way up in each and every company I have worked for. I have sat in meetings with share holders,and Presidents of companies.  I have run staffs of 40, hired, trained and fired employees and yet in this year and this company I am still being over-looked for positions because I am not a man.
I worked twice as hard, more efficiently and with more knowledge than the other people on my staff of 9.  I am the only female. We work in software development. Excluding my boss, I have trained every person on the staff.  I worked at my company for over 5 years and have promoted 3 times, with minimal pay increases. I am one of senior members of our staff and am considered a Level 2, yet I am paid from $5000.00 to $10,000.00 less than my male counterparts.
I was told that I was being considered for a supervisor role in April 2008, that I would take on the role, and that a title and raise would follow. I ran the staff with ease for a month while my boss was gone on family leave, was told my performance was stellarand that I met every requirement needed for this role. I spent 8 months doing the work.  As the new year came to end I was told I would not be getting a promotion or a raise but that I was expected to continue to do the work I had been given. If I were a man, I would have the raise and the title that goes with it.  I know this because I have seen it happen time and again.
With my experience, I was a perfect match for a recent promotion to a Management role, as well. Yet before I was even given an opportunity to interview for this position I was told that a man who was a friend of a VP was hired, even though our company prides itself on promoting within. When I asked HR about why the position was not even posted, I didn’t even receive a reponse. But, I was called into my boss’s office and told to be careful who I email and about what.  I asked a simple question and intead of an answer I received a reprimand.
Most days I feel over-worked and under paid and I know that I am not alone in this plight, but I wonder how much I am supposed to give to a job that shows little or no appreciation for me, my time, my hard work, my knowledge, my everything that I give this job!
I have co-workers who show up late everyday, do little work and find reasons or excuses to leave early. Sub-par work is done, cases closed with no documentation, rudeness shown to the customers we deal with, all just swept under the rug – all things I know I would never be allowed to do even if they were in my character.
I have considered leaving many times, but the sad part is it’s not just this company. Corporate America is still the Old-Boy’s club that it always has been. Men are the Presidents, Vice Presidents and Managers, the few women that promote, are quickly the first to go when the company suffers financial woes.
I now find myself simply going to work and doing my job. I leave when the clock strikes 5pm and no longer give my all to a company who has continually used the best of me.


On another, but related, note: Did anyone else catch this article a few days ago? Maybe it explains why women are kept on the job long after men are “let go.”  Not all men work in construction or labor.

Thursday, January 22 06:01 am

Ellen Wulfhorst

The economic crisis is hitting men much harder than women in the workplace, largely because male-dominated industries like construction and transportation are bearing the brunt of job losses, figures show.

Women, meanwhile, dominate sectors that are still growing, like government and healthcare, experts said.

read the story HERE

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