Lately I've made a big change in my professional life.
I work in a male dominated environment. I'm an engineer, it's a fact of life. I actually prefer it that way.
When I started working a female coworker of mine told me that it was a tough department, company, and industry for "us women". She would always complain about the difference in pay scale based on gender for the whole country. She would say that "we women" had to work harder to get the same amount of recognition and opportunity. She would tell me of the importance of looking the part and fitting in.
I was young and inexperienced and didn't know what to think, so I took her advice. I didn't wear a skirt or jewelry to work for 4 years. My cute shoes were pushed to the side of my closet only to be brought out when I was sure that no one from work would ever see me in them and mistake me for a female. I wore muted colors and my black danskos every day.
While infinitely comfortable, these are pretty much the LEAST feminine shoes you can get. Am I right?
But, guess what. She, judging from my experience, was wrong.
Over the past 5 years of working as an engineer my career path has been unparalleled. I have achieved much and I've had some of the luckiest opportunities of anyone my age in the company. I've been supported and treated as an equal. I feel like I've been generously rewarded and recognized for my efforts.
And now that think of it, I'm a little miffed at said lady. If she was still around I would probably march over to her and ask what she was thinking, brainwashing an innocent newbie like that. I'd especially do it today, since I'm wearing this beautiful new dress that the ear doctor got me for my birthday, complete with big gold necklace and open toed shoes.
I'm not foolin anybody today. I am a girl...and a good engineer.