{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Any tips for being the only female on a project team? I often get talked over and \nstuck with “office housework” like note taking.", "post_id": "61787f65cba90a0026906ace", "reply_count": 48, "vote_count": 25, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

Any tips for being the only female on a project team? I often get talked over and stuck with “office housework” like note taking.

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For all the men rebutting with examples to try to make the point this is likely not a gender issue (which sure - it may not be but it also MAY be) - let me chime in and add my examples. How do you explain that in a practice where females make up less than 7% of the group - two females (and those two only) got asked to organize social events for the group. Or a colleague of mine who in a client meeting - every male got asked if they wanted a coffee or drink and she got asked if she wanted milk or a juice box? I bet these were non-gender issues that those annoying females raised huh? A lot of females actually have a higher threshold for letting this stuff happen then they should. Many deal with imposter syndrome so likely keep quiet already for way more than they should. So when a female actually raises an issue - it’s likely more often than not reality and way past what’s due. And for any one issue that a female raises - as much as you want to dismiss is - consider there are 30 other TRUE gender issues that were not raised so every male here who’s gut instinct was to shut OP down - highly recommend you do some reflective introspection or just don’t comment at all.

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It's sad to see everyone immediately jump in with the type of 'not every guy' comments. I'm sure there is a reason OP thinks this is to do with gender. If she is being repeatedly asked to do things below her rank or if multiple people of same rank, easily seeing there is no spread of work between people. You have to consider admin and office work do not contribute to performance reviews so instead of spending time bettering their skills and promotion options, a woman in the workplace can be taking notes. No one minds taking notes ocassionally and if someone came here specifically to complain maybe actually listen and think that it probably is excessive instead of shutting them down.

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I don't know whether this is actually gender bias. (And I'm a female with a male lead.) I had to have this conversation, so this is from experience. Explain to the person who can actually create the change that you want opportunities to gain visibility with the client (chances to speak), a chance to facilitate (it's a best practice to not be capturing the entire conversation you're facilitating, meaning someone else HAS to take notes) and that if you can't find these opportunities to advance your goal on this project, you will have to look elsewhere. If you're a consultant, you're expected to do these things, so if you create the argument that the team structure holds you back (without accusing) it's very likely they will work with you. If they don't, elevate the issue because they're just a poor manager and probably ignorant. My manager responded really well and apologized for not being more cognizant. Men have different senses of awareness...not a bad thing, just a difference between genders.

smart

‘Men have different senses of awareness?’ I’m sorry you feel the need to invalidate women’s experiences by excusing men’s behaviour. Might as well have started with ‘boys will be boys’.

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Ugh, I pretty much guarantee all the negative responses here are from men. I’m a female and am consistently assigned office work - you guys don’t realize you’re doing it. I’m asked to coordinate lunch. I’m asked to pick a place for happy hour. I’m asking to collate notes. It’s nothing to do with being junior. OP, after you do the task once you need to push back and say “I did it last week, so going to pass to X this week. Happy to help if needed.” And leave it at that.

likehelpfulupliftingsmart

This this this. Experienced this SO many times. To be clear - YES even when I have not been the most junior / newest person I have been asked to do admin tasks.

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Can we not immediately question if her reasons are faulty? This is how we perpetuate sexism in the workplace. She's looking for advise on a reality that many women face every day. OP I suggest having an ally on the team you can turn to and discuss this with. If there is someone you trust and can confide in, they can help you advocate appropriately and distribute the work. I've had a leader speak up and say, "hang on she was speaking" and it truly helped change the day-to-day. Likewise they helped ensure note taking was spread across everyone, rather than given repeatedly to one person.

likesmartupliftinghelpfulfunny

Unfortunately, this is the response female employees voicing such issues tends to be like that…

How are you so sure these issues are directly tied to your gender?

likefunny

@D1- please stop gaslighting OPs experiences and work on yourself.

likefunny

When getting talked over, continue talking and slightly elevate your voice as needed rather than simply stop talking. Everyone does notes. Also ask others, hey mike, would you please capture notes on this one? Want to make sure we have a variety of handwriting styles to struggle through. Keep it light and be unfazed by everything.

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Listen to all these poor men crying here smh this thread makes it evident that sexism is alive and well in the workplace

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Yes men don’t realize they are doing it. I am SM and am thankfully past the stage where people are asking me to take notes. But here is an example. We are group of SMs in our practice and we have our own teams chat. I am the only woman. When an MDs close family member bet passed away .. they asked me to coordinate the flowers.. wth

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My advice - many many years in is to make a joke about it the next time you can make a joke of it … “ah, good to know women have a role on the team … flower ordering” … you only have to do the smile sarcasm a couple of times and they don’t ask again

This is why we have a women in consulting chat. Bc some men. 😡

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It’s most likely nothing to do with your gender but everything to do with your role on the engagement. Consultants at Deloitte are usually the most junior roles at an engagement. While it’s not ok to ignore anyone but depending on who you’re talking to you might be going into too much detail about something that may not matter much and not enough detail into things that your leadership cares about.

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I sincerely hope Deloitte is not as outdated as these views.

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Always good to find a few good allies who are men on your team, misogynists tend to listen to other men. That’s how I get through most of my projects that are always 99% male. I was once on a team where the project lead said “just a minute sweetie, we’re talking” so I walked out of the meeting and didn’t attend any of his meetings till he apologized. Stand up for yourself!

likehelpful

gaslighting at its finest

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Stand up for yourself. What’s so hard about that? I did it and Men on my team accommodated. Men expect people to vocalize. They don’t pick up on non-verbal cues like we do.

likefunny

The dreaded "difficult" label is a huge threat to our progression as females and partners can tank you for pushing back. It's not an easy fix, so pls be careful! Ive seen way too many talented females get sidelined.

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On note taking - that task should really be shared amongst junior team members. One way I found effective was for my team members to alternate note taking (eg weekly). I think it is quite a crucial responsibility. You can certainly make such a suggestion to your project manager. Can you be a bit more specific by how you are « talked over »? This can help us give you guidance on how to navigate.

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Being talk over - I would just continue talking, if you can’t pause to let me go first and rudely interrupt, then no one shall hear what you are saying either :) and yes raise your voice a little Note taking - usually it’s for junior members, never had this problem per se but if I did I would just find various reasons to not do it like sorry I’m eating or idk excuses better fitting for your environment honestly if u avoid it after a couple times people stop asking

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I merely point out that the juniors have it but it is annoying to have to keep pointing it out

What is your level, not your gender? Also, note taking to me is the quickest way to come up to speed and for me to assess your attention to detail as a new resource

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Just no. Stop invalidating peoples experiences. Assume people are competent unless they prove otherwise. Mortified reading such dated views on here.

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Say no to setting up HH (sorry, I can’t keep track of dietary needs and everyone’s schedules), I also say I’m not good with picking spots. I tell them I’m taking notes for myself that are rudimentary at best that work for me so sharing them is not something you can do. Interruptions: Let me finish before I lose my thought process works well for me

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I’m an M and I still get asked if I took notes, to coordinate events because “women are better at it”, and get talked over or ignored when I answer a question but a male answers with the exact same response and it’s accepted.

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Are you lower on the totem pole for this team? If you’re being asked to take on responsibilities that are truly below your rank and someone is getting more opportunities as a result of gender bias, I would discuss with the your immediate superior what extra responsibilities you’d like to take on and why that’s appropriate given your rank vs the other person who is lower than you. I wouldn’t immediately default to gender when talking to superior and keep it professional and fact-based about why you’re the right person for XX responsibility. I’ve been the only guy on projects before, and it kind of sucked to be honest. It was hard not having the same camaraderie after watching the bachelor, but I was always so appreciative when they at least tried to include me. Good luck!

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No one wants to do more work so I’d love to be cast in a note taking role

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