I worked in the City of San Diego’s Diversity Commitment back in the mid-late 90’s where I learned the behaviors associated with sexism and gender bias. I learned about what I had been experiencing but now had a name for it. At that time examples of Sexism and Gender bias were frequent, especially in specific occupations and some City departments.
Fast forward to the present and I find myself faced with the same behaviors I experienced back in the 80’s and 90’s. The situation involves a project my business partner and I are working on in collaboration with a subcontractor. My business partner is very respectful and includes me equally in decisions and acknowledges me for my contributions. Unfortunately the same can not be said for the subcontractor. Initially the subcontractor was respectful and friendly but over time his true colors were displayed. I went from being an equal on the project to a contributor who was secondary to my business partner. This subtle pattern began with e-mails sent to the subcontractor; mine were not responded to whereas my business partners were answered immediately with answers to his questions or a commitment on when the subcontractor would get back to him. That was followed by the subcontractor attributing credit to my business partner for work that I had performed.
This pattern evolved over time and has left me feeling disrespected and questioning if this is once again an experience of sexism or gender bias. The reason why I question it was my belief that the younger generations are less sexist due to the time they grew up and the exposure to females in the workplace in a range of positions and occupations. I pose the question to others; is sexism and/or gender bias still an issue in the workplace today? Have you experienced similar challenges and if so how have you chosen to handle the situation?