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Everyday I get squashed in meetings as a female minority analyst. I didn’t believe in sexism until I entered the workforce.

likefunnyupliftinghelpfulsmart
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As I have no details of what the incidents are I'll give some examples of what has worked for me and you can apply them as you see fit.

As a brand new worker, one of the most valuable things is to become a sponge and learn as much as possible by learning and observing. There may be several meetings where there is no reason for you to say anything or jump in. Make sure when you speak up it is because you have a real reason and unique insight/idea/debate that hasn't been mentioned yet or doesn't actually progress the conversation. This times will come most often as a brand new employee, but that isn't unique. Even as a manager I sometimes don't have to speak up in every meeting, and so when I do people listen.

When you do speak up, be assertive. In general, woman try to be more accommodating than men and overuse "I think" or "maybe" etc. Instead of laying it out there. Try to be intentional to remove these (I think) "x method will be efficient because xyz." There is a difference in being assertive and confident and being rude. You can still be open to ideas and opposing views without downplaying your own. Obviously there will be times to soften it, but overall just be conscious of the message those send. And if you aren't confident of something, be honest of why and have an informative conversation. "X method will be efficient because xyz, although I'm not sure if that will effect Q".

If none of these work, and you have concrete examples of how coworkers of similar levels are being treated quite differently, don't be afraid to bring it up to your leadership. I had one example that blew my mind with blatant sexism from my client. I would send an email with a question to the client, and they would forward the email with the response to my male coworker of the same level, without me even on it. He refused to even talk to me in person either. I reached out to a female director for advice, and she got the whole team together (all males except me). She coached them how they can help me, as well as some advice for myself. When the client would ask a question to my male coworker that I could answer (e.g. the status of something), even if it wasn't necessarily my responsibility, then they were told to tell the client to ask me (I.e., pretend I had the latest information on that even when they knew too). It forced the client to talk to me. After only like 2 weeks of that, he realized I was a competent human being, and eventually started coming to me and actually responding to my emails.

Good luck, and hope some of that helps

likehelpful

You might be absolutely right or (more probably) only partially right (meaning there are additional factors at play). I was ignored or not given a lot of attention in countless meetings as a white male analyst and even as a consultant.

There are many potential explanations for many of these scenarios that will inevitably take place on a professional career and it sounds like the ones you're choosing are not empowering you. Are there other plausible and more empowering narratives of what happens in your life? If yes, choose those.

As an example: Maybe I was pretty ignored on this meeting but it's ok because I was the newest and/or less experienced team member. I'm going to work hard and smart and by the end if the project I'll be the SME in this area and everyone will come to me.

You sound like a highly intelligent individual. You made it to this point (many many applicants theoretically more privileged didn't). You are young and have your life ahead of you. Make it a great one choosing narratives that empower you and not taking it too personally when others do you wrong (in the immense majority of occasions they mean no harm; they're just limited by their own passions limitations and ignorance).

I can't guarantee it'll always feel right but I can guarantee it'll overall feel way better than having a more victim mentality.

likeupliftinghelpfulfunny

A3- Great input

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OP, it’s one of those things that is discounted and ignored by the majority of people who haven’t experienced it, as evidenced by this thread. Keep your chin up and look for an environment that will let you shine.

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Nah. I’m not defending the very limited number of people who actually are biased. You’re automatically accusing everyone who is responsible for a monitory’s negative experience as doing so because of bias though. It’s ridiculous to create a rebuttal presumption of bigotry.

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My analyst is black. He told me back in the fall that he feels like he’s not fitting in as the only black man on the team. And is only given meaningless work. This includes fitting in socially with other analysts

I know his work isn’t great, and I also know he leaves at 5 when the team cranks until 8. Instead of sharing that I gave him some pointers to improve the thoughtfulness of his work and asked 2 senior people to engage him a bit more.

Now he feels like he gets along great with the team. He’s working side by side with his peers and likes the new workload. It’s still sloppy but from his perspective things are much better.

Race isn’t the fulcrum of this story but he did start with an assumption that his issues were about race. Once he hit his own stride, the symptoms he associated with racism just went away, because that’s not what was really going on.

likehelpfulsmart

Logically, you can’t have multiple non-toxic levels of toxicity.

Not to discredit your experiences, but it’s a right of passage to be metaphorically pushed around as an analyst in general

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I am now a senior analyst and have not once been pushed around…and would not be okay with that. I myself never have and never would “push around” an inferior and don’t think that a good manager/delegator would ever need to resort to that. I’ve been fortunate to work with incredible (female!! maybe that’s why!) team leads who have trusted and empowered me my entire time here.

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Just as a comp, I definitely experience this as a white male when I first started.

I would get ignored in meetings, partners would shut me down when I started to speak, etc. This happened on and off for my first 3-4 years in consulting.

Not saying that this isn't sexism / racism, but just trying to give another perspective.

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You could say I’m being sensitive. But if I don’t stand up for myself I’m considered quiet. If I do then my manager asks why I have conflicts with my team members.
Clients only mention my manager and the other analyst and refuses to even acknowledge me.
BS Inclusion and diversity.
I’ve tried being open and nice and eager but I’m really defeated.

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Consulting is a challenging industry and I’ve found that you need to be extremely: 1) social/ command social power and be an effective brown noser; 2) great at making slide decks and excel models…

u just said u have been working only 4 months, and 2.5 on this project. expect to remain invisible for several more. doesn’t sound like it has anything to do w ur gender or race at this point.

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You didn't think sexism was real until you personally experienced it in the workplace?

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OP just because it has never happened to you doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I’m glad you now are able to see this and have more empathy for women who have dealt with this their whole lives

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Perhaps this also has to do with junior/lack of seniority. But if not, work with different people asap and find a new mentor.

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If you want a sounding board, I’m happy to try to help. DM me here and we can connect later this week.

likeupliftinghelpful

Wish my MD was like this 👆

likefunny

Hey! One of the most difficult things about this situation is that you’ll never know for sure if this is 1) explicit racism/sexism, 2) implicit racism/sexism, 3) people who are difficult to everyone, or 4) the way things get done on that team

And it is super demoralizing/draining to try to figure out what is going on and how to deal with it.

Things that can help: 1) getting a support network of other people in the firm (who can tell you who to work with/avoid), 2) figuring out how to play the mental game - I try to assume good intentions, but that’s not for everyone, and 3) trying to “find your people” - esp those who are easy to work with, and can provide racially/gender aware coaching

likehelpful

Do you have a reference point as comparison; experience being treated differently on another project, or seen a white/male peer at a similar junior level being treated differently. Otherwise how can you say confidently it’s sexism?

like

When I was an analyst, the client also deferred to my manager and other (more senior) analysts. I didn’t attribute it to them being female (both were) or a minority (one was)… I assumed I needed to prove myself. Acting like a victim isn’t a path to success.

Welcome to corporate where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter hahaha

Seriously though — good on you for being assertive and driven!

Need more details on what you’re doing and the team dynamics to give better informed feedback.

Based on current details, though I’m focusing on that you’re new. If I were you, I’d stay in my own work streams but continue to read through resources to grow knowledge base until the time comes to weigh in/provide additional support to the project.

Until then, enjoy them easy checks :)

likehelpfulfunny

WHY ARE 90% OF PEOPLE HERE TRYING TO PROVE SEXISM DOESNT EXIST. Listen to OP!

likefunny

WE HAVE TO YELL OTHERWISE PEOPLE WILL TALK OVER US

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OP - Try taking blindspot training. Maybe the issue is somewhere else.

likefunnyhelpful

1. Analysts don't know anything and shouldn't be saying much in meetings
2. If you're being squashed, the thing you're saying isn't adding value
3. Find a female mentor who's more sr. ACN has tons of them
4. See 1 and 2. Seriously, just take good notes and get your deliverables done. Eventually 2 will come


-from a female minority sr manager with 10 years of tech implementations

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Awesome feedback

Just saying I’ve been squashed in a ton of meetings and am competent but also White male.

I’d encourage to truly take a look at others and see if they are also receiving critical feedback. If not, then move teams.

likefunny

Are you competent? If so, yeah then they’re discriminating for some reason and sexism would suck

likefunny

M10- that’s a bit ridiculous to assume every narrative based on racism is implicitly true. It’s far more likely that OP just needs to build credibility with the client.

The best boss I ever had at IBM actually straight up ignored me when I first started and tried to introduce myself to her at orientation.

A year in with a few projects under my belt and and a referral, she reached out to me to come work for her and helped me promote up.

Everyone has different leadership approaches (both client and internal) and while EQ is 100% important, delivering results will speak louder and put your name out there.

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I kinda don’t feel sorry for you bc as an adult woman you didn’t believe sexism exists…. Like wtf

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