A Couple Both Worked in Tech, but When the Woman Was Constantly Passed up For a Promotion, He Told Her to ‘just Work Harder’

A man and his girlfriend both worked in the tech industry, and their similar jobs gave them a lot to talk about. However, one day a post-work conversation would concern the controversial topic of workplace sexism, and the man’s opinion would put him in hot water.

Their Careers 

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The man explained the couple’s career backgrounds and current positions: “My girlfriend and I both work in the tech industry and both have 5 years of experience. I have a computer science and math degree, and she has an electrical electronics engineering degree.” 

The Promotion 

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The man had recently been promoted to a senior-level position at his job, and he claimed to have worked hard for this achievement. His girlfriend on the other hand had only been promoted once in her career, holding a junior position at three different companies. 

Perceived Unfairness

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The woman held bitterness about her responsibilities at her jobs. “She always complains about how things are unfair and how she is not given opportunities, supposedly excluded from meetings other than for notetaking”, the man explained. 

Complaints to HR

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Recently, his girlfriend and another woman she works with jointly filed a complaint against a colleague for being sexist in meetings. Their concerns landed in the hands of HR, which, led by a woman, found no fault and dismissed their grievances. This outcome only fueled her feelings of workplace injustice.

Performance Review Disappointment

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More recently, the woman had a performance review and received disappointing news: no promotion. Her feedback was clear – she needed to take on more challenging tasks. She told her partner that she genuinely wanted to do so, but whenever she attempted to lead projects, she was consistently sidelined. 

The Partner’s Perspective

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However, the woman’s partner believed that not every obstacle she encountered was rooted in sexism. “I do believe that there is some sexism in the industry, but she has to recognize that perhaps she has room to improve”, the man explained. “She thinks that because she graduated with honors with a 4.0 that translates to industry performance.”

Clashing Perspectives

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The man expressed these thoughts, suggesting that his girlfriend follow her manager’s advice to grow professionally. “She got real upset with me and called me a jerk”, the man lamented. 

Reflection 

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Reflecting on the spat, the man did not believe he had said anything out of line. Whilst he recognized his girlfriend’s disappointment, he also felt that it was unfair for her to expect him to agree to everything that she said. 

His Views on Sexism 

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Ultimately, the conflict came down to the topic of workplace sexism. The man didn’t feel like it was particularly present in modern days and believed his girlfriend blamed all of her challenges on it without grounds. However, she insisted that he simply could not see it from a male perspective.

Did He Mess Up?

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The man logged onto his favorite social media platform, posting his story and asking readers whether he was wrong to defend his girlfriend’s boss. “Absolutely – you aren’t a woman in tech, you wouldn’t get it”, pointed out one reader. “The industry is rampant with it.”

A Sexist Industry

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Many women who are tech workers chimed in to defend the man’s girlfriend. “The reason tech is such a male-dominated field is that it’s plagued with sexism”, another reader stated. “Many women study for years for the tech industry only to quit in the first year because of the issues that your girlfriend is currently facing.”

Catch 22

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Almost everyone took the woman’s side and criticized the man for defending her boss. “You suggesting she follows up on her manager’s advice seems problematic”, one commenter accused. “How can someone take on bigger projects if they’re forced to hand them over to other members of staff and excluded from meetings regarding them?!”

Bad Boyfriend Behavior

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To the man’s dismay, he was rampantly berated for his bad boyfriend behavior. “Acting like you know her job and her experiences better than she does is an example of the very sexism she’s complaining about”, another commenter pointed out. “She came to you for support, not your sexist advice. Be a better boyfriend, or don’t be surprised when she leaves you.”

Another commenter also pointed out the man’s own sexism.

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“This guy doesn’t even work with his girlfriend yet he is assuming that sexism doesn’t exist and she just doesn’t work hard enough… the misogyny is strong in this one. Just because you’ve never been on the receiving end of workplace sexism, because you’re a MAN, doesn’t mean it magically doesn’t exist!”

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Images are for illustrative purposes only

Source: Reddit