As a woman in the business world, I have encountered many negative experiences so many times. The work environment is where we should feel comfortable and safe. A place where we are focused on achieving results and achieving goals; however, for women, the workplace is often the source of many unpleasant scenes and even harrowing and challenging experiences. Encouraged by some of the personal experiences, the members of the H4Her team have set themselves the task of seeking the opinions and experiences of numerous women on the subject. Several women came to our email and shared their work horror stories with us.
These are some of them:
“I worked as an accountant in a medium company. It was my first job. I was a career hungry so I gave all my hard work and met all the expectations. A year and a half later. I was hesitant to speak to my boss at first but after a good talk with my friends, I finally decided that I was going to do it. I went into his office, and I prepared for anything except for him to offer me a raise in exchange for as he called it my “special services.” What was even worse was when I talked about it to my little colleague, he said that I should consider it because it was a small price to pay on long terms. I was sick to my stomach. Of course, I quit, and to this day I can’t shake that horrible feeling For such a long time, deep down, I was wondering did I do something to provoke that behavior was somewhat my fault until I finally understood how the world works. It was not my fault at all. I feel like we (women) are programmed to blame ourselves when something terrible happens to us. We each individually have to work on changing that mindset.”
Story sent to us by a girl who wanted to stay anonymous:
“I recently went to a job interview. It all started right; I briefly introduced myself and presented my qualifications and previous work experience. The employer seemed delighted, so I thought this was the opportunity I was waiting for. However, the next question was: “Do you have a boyfriend, and are you planning to get married?” A question that was utterly irrelevant to the job I was supposed to be doing. A question that invades privacy and a one that man will never be asked to answer. I feel sorry I didn’t get up and leave the interview at that point. Instead, I was honest, and I responded positively. You should have seen the disappointment on his face. Of course, I didn’t get the job. The reason I want to share this story with you is to show people that as much as you think a woman’s position in society is changing, it’s far from reality. There is a big road ahead of us, and I hope as many people as possible can join your movement.”
We also found there work horror stories we found that we taught were worth sharing:
“My former boss at the place I worked when I was in high school made a ‘joke’ about how he prefers to hire women so he can ‘smack them around if they don’t do their job right.’ He wasn’t serious, but it made me concerned and offended.”
“I was given a huge promotion at my job, but before I signed my new contract they figured out that I was pregnant. (Extreme morning sickness gave me away.) All of a sudden it ‘wasn’t in the budget’ to give me the pay raise that should have come with the new role, but they still needed me to do the work and they would revisit the issue in a few month’s time. I went back to them in the specified time, armed with stats on how well I’d been performing and was told no again. I then questioned the 15k difference in salary this left between myself and the man who had previously been in the role — who, incidentally, had been fired for poor performance. Finally, they gave me a pittance raise and promised to fix the difference when I returned from maternity leave. Of course, when I came back I was demoted, not given a raise, and treated like a huge inconvenience. They shuffled me around and treated me like dirt until I finally left. The whole experience has left me doubting whether I can have any career or value as an employee while I have small children.”
If you would like to share your work horror story with us please contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org!
We also encourage you to read our blog about building confidence at the workplace written by our guest writer Brittney.