“You are too pretty for this job.”
“You are too dressed up.” “Ok now you are too dressed down”
“Can those nails/hands even hold a tool?”
“Will people listen to you when you are so dolled up? You need to at least look like them or someone they can resonate with.”
I work in a male dominated industry/occupation and these are some of the challenges I have faced/still face in my line of work. Most women in such will agree that they are expected to:
Blend in, but not too much because they need to behave like ladies.
Utilize their sharp brains but still get judged from the face value,
Be a badass but tone it down a notch,
Lead but keep in mind what position they hold in society.
Be friendly but not too friendly because your intentions can be misinterpreted.
In all honesty, it is tiring to be looked at but not seen for what you are and what you are bringing to the table. To always wonder where to draw the line when it comes to office interactions. To be seen as the flower in the office. It forces one to have an adaptation mechanism, and mine is downplaying the gender card. This means carefully managing my appearances and interactions so as to avoid being sexualized. This also means, choosing what I wear carefully and minding my behavior around people. I am generally friendly as a person, but not too friendly. I put up a straight face most of the time and just mind my own business because I want to be respected, not misinterpreted.
My name is Aclyne Njiraini, and this is part one of my story. The reason why I started Office Glam blog. I can downplay my gender and tone it down at work, but here I let it all loose and connect with my love for fashion. Stay true to myself and hopefully help other women facing the same problem.
Click here for Part 2
Enjoy the rest of your week!