Kristen Manes of the Little Black Book of Business nails it here with her recent post Women: Apply For Jobs Whether You’re “Qualified” or Not.
“So, over the years, it’s been ingrained in women that you will only be hired for positions if you’ve proven past performance in a certain skill set.” How many times have I seen this happen, where a female friend or student will say “no, I can’t do that – I have no experience, no connections, nothing to prove I can hack it”. Aside from competence, why is there such a need to “prove” ourselves? I understand where this may come from – years and years of uneven playing fields mean there’s simply more struggle for women to exist. And multiply that along various axes of discrimination (color, class, etc) and you can get caught in the track of “just” thinking.
This phrase is the bane of my existence, as it places the onus on the woman to navigate not just her own life, but attempt to control entire cultures and systems herself, and somehow magic advantages right into her lap: “If you just work harder, if you just put in more time, if you just wait your turn, if you just….”
How many sexist things are excused with that magic phrase “If she’d just….”