With My Face Pressed Firmly Against The Glass Ceiling
Working in a male-dominated field is hard. As a woman in the military, I try to make the differences noticed as little as possible. I challenge the standards they set for the women, and call people on it when we are being treated differently.
Still, I find I am at a difficult point in my career. One of the reasons the “system” is so problematic to me is because we are ranked against each other of the same rank, both in our department and in the whole unit based on our contributions. And opportunities to contribute are only given to those who have the time to work during the week, or who can commit to going away for weeks at a time on contracts. They say they want educated members, but those of us who are in university are being pushed aside so that the people with nothing going on in their lives are able to be put on a pedestal. And I think that’s just plain wrong.
Having moved to a new city, I am thoroughly disadvantaged. I spoke with my boss about it, and he said that the move shouldn’t affect my career progression. And yet, yesterday when there was a conversation about who could be in the running for getting a chance to prove themselves, my name was apparently quickly dismissed.
I can’t help but wonder what happened. Yes, I’m new to the unit. But the only reason that should affect my career is that they aren’t giving me the opportunity to prove myself. I am opinionated, and I speak my mind. When I pointed out that all of our leadership members are exactly the same (white, male, mid- to late 20’s, music students or graduates, grew up in the area, etc.), it wasn’t something that they wanted to hear. People don’t like hearing that their system is flawed, especially not from a young opinionated female.
I’m taking a course on feminist thought this semester. Although I’m hesitant to accept any opinions or views that are presented to me, I can’t help but wonder how much of a factor this is playing in my career. I feel like the White Men’s Club is a lot stronger in our department than in the rest of the unit. And I don’t know what I can do to change it. I feel like I’ve hit the glass ceiling, and am now just making sad puppy eyes while the rest of them share bro-time.
Has anyone else gone through this, or knows of ways to overcome it?