After working in the finance industry as a young female, I have become more aware of the ways in which my gender makes up identity. When I am in an environment with a more balanced ratio of women to men, such as in class or in my workplaces of the past, I am not constantly thinking about my gender. However, I often think about how my identity as a woman may influence my experience when I am the only female in a male-dominated group. This occurs in some of my business courses at school, as well as in my office where I am a finance summer intern. It can be a bit intimidating to be the minority as women in a room filled with mostly men, as is the case in my office.
The other facet of my identity that I have become more acutely aware of during my internship is my age. Being one of the youngest people in the office can be intimidating as well, as I clearly have less experience and knowledge as the executives at the company. However, I have found that these parts of my identity make me a unique asset to the office for different reasons. Additionally, when I meet other individuals with similar identities, such as the other women or employees who are young or new to the office, I am able to connect with them because we have something in common. For example, I was introduced to a female colleague who works out of the Austin office but was doing business in the LA office last week. The visitor went out of her way to introduce herself to me and even emailed me useful resources. We were able to form a meaningful connection because of our shared identity as young women in an industry dominated middle-aged men.