I never experienced gender bias (or rather felt it) until I was employed. Growing up, my father treated us as equal. There was no girl/boy role in his house. Things had to be done and everyone had to be involved, no one was getting hand outs in his house. Period. That’s what you get when your dad is military. We soldiered on, and became very independent at a very young age (you can call it hard core if you want). This hard core spirit is probably the reason why my husband gives me a fist bump and calls me “mtu nguyaz” sometimes. Anyway we soldier on.
In my first formal employment, my boss (a man) wanted to know if and when I was planning to get pregnant! The audacity! I was paid way less than the men (I was the only lady) because there were “jobs I couldn’t do” that I ended up doing anyway. They expected me to clean the office and washrooms because those are lady duties. This I refused. Long story short, I didn’t survive past three months, I don’t have room for such crap!.
Fast forward to my entire career and I have faced it all; uncalled for comments and remarks, unwanted messages, unwelcome requests for dates and inappropriate physical touch to name a few. I have watched some women give in for whatever reasons, others give up, and a big number develop a thick skin and learn ways to deal with this uncouth behavior. I fall in the latter category (thanks to military upbringing), but sometimes it feels like I lose myself in trying. That is why I birthed this platform. To remind me who I am. To help me soldier on from this gender bias.
Click here for part 1
Have a productive day ahead!