Being a woman in the workplace has always been a challenge. I have been working for a while now, so I am familiar with the types of people who are easy to work with and the people who are less easy to work with. When I got offered this internship, I was very excited that my supervision was going to be a woman. Looking up to females in powerful positions has always been helpful to me because I am able to learn how they manage themselves in professional settings. When I was younger, I did not think that being a woman and trying to go after powerful positions would be a problem. However, as I have moved through the world and gotten many experiences, I have come to a disheartening conclusion. Even though there are a lot of places that strive to be inclusive and progressive, there are always going to be some people who, maybe even subconsciously, treat women differently in the workplace.
Luckily, I have not had any bad experiences at my internship this summer; however, I can see how being a female can present challenges. I am a 4’11” Asian female, and I can get talked over a lot. I always wait and speak up again, but being overshadowed, even by accident, is frustrating and can disrupt my focus from my job. Coworkers and customers both do this, and I always try to repeat myself if I was interrupted to make sure my point was heard. Working in a male-dominated profession is definitely more challenging because there are not a lot of women around you. Being in this type of environment for the first time has shed some light on the type of challenges and obstacles I will face as I continue down my career path; however, I am not intimidated. If anything, this internship has shown my ways around the problems, and I have good experience for what to do in future situations.
Working with frusterating people is certainly very challenging at points, but it is also very rewarding being able to point out the problems they are making so they can correct them. I believe in educating people so they understand how to treat others respectfully, and this is especially important in a professional setting. If you are honest about your feelings and bring them up in a respectful manner, chances are the person will realize their mistake and work to change it.