Five A.M. and Leaning In?

Insomnia is creeping in as the stresses from the work week have followed me into the early morning hours of Saturday morning. I can’t leave work at work which has always been a huge problem for me. My life must be bigger than the vacuum of the 8 hour work day. Yet, instead of beating myself up over it which I tend to do with most things I think are unacceptable, I got to thinking.

What if wanting improvements in the workplace aren’t something I should berate myself over but should share? As women especially when we are dissatisfied with something at work, it’s hard for us to speak up. We are seen as complainers. I was told that I was seen as a complainer by a member of management recently. It really irked me. When men share their views on what might be better, they are seen as revolutionary thinkers. When I share, I’m a complainer and I better step in line with the status quo. I better play nice with the Old Boys Club and only assist and never suggest. I’m there to be the one who interfaces with the customer base, not with management.

To put it lightly, I’m frustrated. I’ve had this kind of treatment in a few workplaces now that are male dominant. The men continue to make the decisions even though the women play vital roles in the day to day logistics. When I’ve see a better way, I try to implement it only to have my efforts undermined. Men don’t want women to play in their sandbox. They would rather throw sand our way and bury our sandcastles only to make sure that theirs is the only one seen.

Obviously, I’m generalizing and know that not all men are like this. I’ve had some really great male mentors in the span of my work history also. Yet, lately I’ve not had any or seen any progress toward being heard. Yet, maybe I wouldn’t need to look for male mentors if there were more women mentors out there. Where the hell is the women leadership? Why do I look around at the lower level employees and see my gender counterparts but when I look up the corporate ladder I do not? It’s definitely not something that is inspiring. It tells me that no matter how hard I work, I’m not going to reach the pinnacle.

Women have been pushing glass ceilings for years. Yes, we have women in government, in corporate business, in educational leadership. But how many of us are there? How many of us still have men undermining us? I don’t want to work in an environment like this any longer. I’d rather find something autonomous for myself than suffer in silence at a workplace that has labeled me “a complainer.”

By the way, seeking improvements is not complaining. It’s making a better environment for yourself and others. It’s making suggestions about something should work, how processes can be more efficient. But I guess that isn’t important. It’s better to follow what has been done for years because that is what is comfortable. God forbid anyone push past their comfort zone and actually change something. *gasp* Someone might actually have to do a little more work in the short term to cause a ripple for the long term. We couldn’t possibly think long-term, could we?

It’s five a.m. and I’m barely making sense. Besides, I’m just complaining. Eh?


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