re: On Being An Abrasive Woman (In Tech) VIEW POST


It sounds like a lot of misunderstanding there, and overall a lot of relationships between co-workers that only look nice and friendly, but they actually hide some deeper interpersonal issues. Probably business problems too? Because I've been there, and it doesn't take much until someone start screaming their frustration out of their lungs.

The only thing that's not quite clear to me is how is that related to your gender. Perhaps there's something I'm missing from your story? Did you notice Peter made that kind of "mistakes" only towards women?


Well... I was the only woman on the team. I don't actually really blame Peter. I think he got information from Keenan and trusted him, which is not unreasonable. Peter was going off Keenan's account, which was quite exaggerated. I think Keenan saw that his friend, who he knew creeped out all the women in the company, got let go, then made the (admittedly correct) assumption that I had talked to Peter about him.

There was never any screaming there. This is just yet another case of a small thing that I definitely couldn't prove was discriminatory (hence why I quit instead of going to HR myself), but there was definitely something off. And I think it is related to my gender given that men at the company spoke to other much more harshly than I ever did and never had any trouble. I was also the only woman in the entire engineering department at the time, not just on my team.


Thank you for clearing all out for me.

I mentioned screaming because that was part of my personal experience - your story made me think it could have happened there at any time.

I've never been subject to discrimination at work, so I can only imagine how bad that would be. Even worse, it could be implicit and harder to expose. Like a hunch that something is working against you, but you can't really speak out or your co-workers might think you're paranoid or even a trouble maker.

Being the only woman in the department might not mean anything but that's certainly a red flag. I get from your story that other women were there, but eventually left? That would be another flag.

It's clear at that point that the environment has become toxic and you'd better quit before losing your inner peace. I wish I gave myself this advice a while back...

I was actually the first woman hired in the engineering department. There were other women in the company and a few had faced a similar double standard and one had left as a result. I never talked to any of the people who had been on my team again (except for Richard, who got booted before this all happened), so I don't know if it was on purpose or subconscious or what. But sometimes all you have is that you know something is different (in a bad way). In some cases, it can be worth reaching out to the person and be direct, but in this case, I'm pretty confident that Keenan would have denied anything was different. What can you do? 🤷🏽‍♀️

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