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Being a Woman in Tech® is exhausting because every time we know something a male superior doesn’t, we have to end our statements with “but maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?” so they feel like it’s their idea and take the topic seriously.

I used to be adamantly against this type of coddling but they beat it out of me. You can only be straightforward and confident a finite number of times before you’re pulled aside and told you’re “cocky,” “arrogant,” “irritating,” etc. So many of us use this strategy to avoid those labels, but it’s a tiring part of the job we shouldn’t have to think about.

Comments
  • 29
    I'm not sure this has anything to do with being a woman.

    1. I do that all the time to signal that I'm open to opinions from others. It promotes a good discussion imo, I do it automatically and also the best Seniors I had did it. Even if you know for sure you're 100% right, it's good to make sure everyone is on board and understands your points. If you don't invite them into the discussion, they might stay silent and then fuck something up later.

    2. I know at least one guy who left (was kinda asked to leave) because he wasn't a "good fit for us". Really good coder imo and I liked him, but the was arrogant as hell. We had a common respect that the others didn't share I suppose.

    So from my experience, being a guy doesn't protect you from being an annoying know-it-all and opening the discussion up for new opinions is a good idea no matter your genitals.

    That being said, some people are obviously just sexist a-holes. But I'd rather not generalize like this.
  • 5
    > "So many of us use this strategy to avoid those labels, but it’s a tiring part of the job we shouldn’t have to think about."

    Then why think about it? If you're working hard and getting things done, so what if some jackass calls you 'arrogant' or some other derogatory name.

    Next time you have "that" convo

    Mgr: "Don't you think you're being cocky? You should smile more."

    You: "No, I know my shit. Next question."

    Then smile.

    80% chance he (or she) will never confront you again. Still a chance jackasses are still jackasses, but at least you drew the line.
  • 6
    I'm cautious like that regardless of sex when I'm talking to a peer. E.g. with a female dev in my project who is very good, I usually ask like "can you please explain that code part?"

    If it's a code problem, we will figure it out in the subsequent discussion, and if it isn't, I havn't put egg on my face.
  • 5
    fuck no man! a moron is a moron, a superior idea/procedure is a superior idea/procedure and there is no in between.

    I have a soft spot with women in general, because I just prefer engaging with women more than I do with men. What you are describing is PRECISELY the reason why I 9/10 despise working with dudes and usually end up wanting to choke the shit out of them.

    My advice: fuck em, if they are wrong then know that we work in a field when someone CAN be 100% correct in having a better solution, document yo shit and make as many notes as you can about your proper findings for a solution.

    I hate our fucking industry.
  • 3
    @jespersh same, but to be honest this field is a premium spot for bullied fuckers that think that because they work in tech they can be shitty to everyone, regardless of sex. And there really are more males than females in our industry and I fucking hate it because it turns into a sausage fest competition of the biggest ego from people that 9/10 had their feelings squandered growing up.

    Just look at reddit/stack overflow/medium/hacker news etc etc a bunch of geeks fighting over being right and getting extra points on the internet, they make this shit their personality and carry it throughout the real world until they get their teeth kicked in
  • 0
    @AleCx04 Yeah, I absolutely hate those fucking sausage fests...
  • 0
    I agree with the others here. It’s not a woman thing. I know many guys who do this and I do it, too. Success not guaranteed.
  • 1
    I also say that often because I want to know what my coworker's opinion is.
  • 3
    It's not necessarily a sex thing....

    But someone who gets bitten all the time will be far more sensitive to the topic.

    Don't misread my comment, read it 3-4 times please.

    Many people I know, be it male -/ female -l whatever gender ... -/ whatever sexuality / race -/ ... they have have one thing in common.

    They get used to it. But at some point they're constantly - let's say "pissed" because getting used to it doesn't mean that it doesn't still poke all their bad buttons TM violently.

    The root problem is they cannot talk about it because *badummts* most people will misunderstand... For many possible reasons, from eg seeing it as a threat (did they just accuse me for being discriminating / racist / sexist / ...), to an wrong point of view (e.g. saying it is "unprofessional" to talk about this at work) to ... Yada yada. Thousands of reasons.

    It's just plain dumb humanity at its best.

    In my opinion a manager sucks if they cannot be an ombudsman - putting aside all business stuff to have a confidential talk when employee wants it, so that the business can run smoothly.
  • 0
    So where do I buy one of those being that it's registered and all ?
  • 0
    News flash hun everyone has to tread carefully regarding their superiors egos until they know them better. Least women can have the guy like the idea of keeping someone pretty around .
  • 0
    Now the main question is how do you like your indentured servitude ?
  • 2
    @PaperTrail I promise, that’s not how it works in a corporate environment lol. When a sentiment grows against you, you get blackballed and avoided. I’m glad you’ve never had to experience that tho!
  • 2
    Yes men can do this too. But women have to. We don’t get to not.

    This isn’t just my experience. Every time I mention it, women reach out to me saying “I thought it was just me!” We somehow all independently developed this survival strategy at work, but sure, coincidence lol
  • 2
    as a man, i was also called arrogant in the jobs where i didn't use the "but i might be wrong, what do you think?" technique.
  • 3
    @Midnight-shcode Its the general insecurity of managerial types that requires this posturing, women would be wrong in assuming men in the real world don't have to be wary of offending their male boss who may even view them as a rival. Everybody as I remember was always paranoid about being replaced in the more 'functioning' world. And more sensitive.
  • 2
    The worst part is that it seems like a lot of women, and some men, who are extremely talented are just motivated to keep down into specific roles because of this intrinsic, orthodox structure (from what I have noticed and assume - I could be completely wrong). I’m sure most of us know by now that it sucks to assimilate our personalities to level up in any less-than-ideal workplace. IMO we should always acknowledge differences in people to lessen our bias, acknowledge every experience is different, and help bring up those around us.
  • 5
    you should come work for us instead.

    i am the (male) senior. and _i_ end my statements in "what do you think", because i want the input of the juniors, and to encourage them thinking critically about what my brain produces.
  • 1
    @BrokeTheInteger > "I promise, that’s not how it works in a corporate environment!"

    I know how it works. Read my rants. :) I've already been blackballed for my 'take no shit' attitude, I don't care. I care about my users. Making them happy and productive is what drives me in everyday, not what a d-bag in a corner office thinks.

    If you know how to work and put people first, that will drive your career further than trying to please a chauvinist jackass. Lots of places don't have that toxicity. Don't put up with it.
  • 1
    I do that too quite a lot. I especially did that when I was new in the field.

    But now that I'm slowly getting more and more experience, I'm getting more confident to show my confidence in certain topics.

    Of course confidence can lead into arrogance, so you have to ask yourself if youre really *that* sure about a certain topic.

    I think an engineer must be able to say "I dont know". I've seen some who always tried to have an answer everything, which most often wasn't a good answer.
  • 0
    I know the feeling girl, It's kinda of tiring sometimes
  • 0
    "but maybe I’m wrong, what do you think?" I have to tell this all the time and I am white male :/
  • 0
    Can relate, although I feel that it depends on the other person. I stopped saying "maybe I'm wrong..." and started saying "I think X, but what do you think?", I feel like it comes across better.
    Also a very real "young woman working with older men" situation: when you are being perfectly normal, in a completely neutral non-bothered mood... Older male coworker: "Why are you in such a bad mood today?" fucks sake Ted, I was thinking about lunch...
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