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I suffered at the hands of misogyny several times in my career.

(It’s always ugly and mostly goes under the radar).

Here’s the reality:

👉 The majority of men I worked with in law were incredible people who I still have the utmost respect for.

But there were some, with fragile egos, who, quite simply, wanted to have power ”over” me.
For these men, if you stood up to them, you knew it was game over.
They knew their position, and would target women lower in the food chain, who they believed couldn’t fight back.

👉 An example:

When I was junior there was a senior male who used to like contacting me at 11pm at night with sudden and urgent work (which had usually been sitting on his desk for some time).
This would keep me working alone in the office most of the night.
This man would cut me out of all matter correspondence, emails or meetings with the client as well as contact with the overarching partner.
(The more “interesting” and “collaborative” work he gave to a marginally more senior male colleague.)
He used me for the grunt, back-office work. And would give me very little background on the tasks I had to do, which added to the challenge of it all.
This happened many times until one day I said “no”.
(To be fair, I was also extremely busy on another matter).
He didn’t expect this and pushed back with some angry emails and strong words.
But was that the end of it?
Of course not.
He took it upon himself to slate me in my appraisal for not being a “team player” and also invented lies about my work not being up to scratch (which affected my bonus and appraisal grade).

Because here’s the thing:

👉 He had to “win”, and he had to “dominate”.
There was little I could do because it was my word against his.
And he knew this.

The really sad thing?

👉 I speak to so many women, who share similar or much worse stories.
Usually, they’re cajoled into second-guessing themselves and led to believe they are the problem.
And if they do speak up they’ll be made out to be making a “storm in a tea cup”.
↳ It’s the classic „gaslighting“.

And it’s master manipulation tactics.
I don’t have an immediate solution. But I do know this needs airtime:

↳ because silence is complicit.

So long as this is in the shadows, this abusive behaviour is allowed to perpetuate.
And, I don’t know about you,

👉 But I can’t just sit by and watch.

We thank Helen very much for publishing her story on at-the-workplace.eu

Here’s another relevant article posted by Helen on her website helenpamely.com

The Journey to Leadership: Are You Ready to Lead? (helenpamely.com)

Veröffentlicht in Story