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Are some men threatened by women?

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Hey guys,

So today, I went to a large law firm for an interview to work as an intern. It was a "roundtable" interview with a director and 4 other applicants. I was easily the most active and added several important points, won many points, was gracious when I lost a point and didn't back down when the argument got heated.

After the end, I ran into the director at the Starbucks below the office. He informed me that although I'd performed very well on the interview, he believed that it was not "my place" to work in a high profile company's office because I'm a woman, and that the workers would not take kindly to having a woman in a non-secretarial role.

Why is this so? Can someone please enlighten me? Has something like this happened to any of you?

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Sounds like a pretty crap experience, honestly. Not sure about how much you wanted to go to this law firm, but if I were you I would be inclined to send this firm a very strongly worded letter/email about the blatant sexual discrimination that's present. Seriously though, I would have thought that even if they had something against women in positions of authority (as an intern, which is obviously just excessively threatening of course), they could have come up with any number of reasons not to hire you - so it's actually quite stupid of them to openly admit to this kind of discrimination.

I myself did some work experience in a male-dominated environment - a motoring magazine, actually. And even though it felt weird, at no point did I feel threatened/looked down upon. So I guess for me my experiences with blatant discrimination is quite limited.

Obviously, I might be speaking from a different kind of social background/context in Australia, but I think that kind of response from the director is just completely unacceptable. So maybe look on the bright side as well - maybe you wouldn't want to go there if the director is quite a bit sexist? And they're missing out on your awesomeness and the awesomeness of your IB 44 score! :) I guess that there will always be people who feel threatened, so I guess we just have to work against those ignorant people and do our utmost to fight back where possible.

Hopefully the rest of your intern interviews will go better!

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This happens to women quite often actually. Yes, men do feel threatened by women if women have a higher role in the company or earn more, simply because its the way of the world that the men earn more, so then their ego comes into play.

I'm going into computer engineering, and although I'm from India where there's an abundance of engineers and doctors, most are men, so when I tell them my major, they're surprised, and its honestly annoying -_- But it's common in India so...

But if you were to intern at a reputed law firm, you'd think they'd be less sexist. You should probably email them giving them a piece of your mind. And you're joining as an intern -_- how threatened could the other workers possibly feel? -_-

Hope your other interviews go better! :) Good luck!

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It depends. I know in small(er) law firms and organisations, sexism is much more blatant. But for this Director to be so brazen, I would imagine he doesn't fear any reprisals, which tells me that the issue lies in the institutionalised sexism in your country's law. Until that changes, real change in the workplace will be hard to come by.

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I've been warned about gender bias in the law profession. Such discrimination does not only stop at gender but extends to ethnicity as well. According to the owner of a small law firm where I did some work experience, if you're an ethnic minority + female you're pretty screwed (due to duel discrimination) unless; you have some good back-up in the form of experience, reputable school, amazing academic background etc... or just plain old luck.

I don't think it's being threatened per say, but it's just one of those things really. I find it quite ironic how such an injustice can persist in a profession supposedly dedicated to justice.

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I don't think it's being threatened per say, but it's just one of those things really. I find it quite ironic how such an injustice can persist in a profession supposedly dedicated to justice.

Justice is not correlative to the law. The law guarantees a fair trial, due process, that is all. We hope that justice will inevitably follow. But even if it doesn't and an unjust decisions stands (which they often do), it does not reduce the sanctity of the injustice as valid law.

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I legit can't believe that guy said that!! OMG and I thought that Singapore encouraged gender equality. I had work experience at a pharmaceutical company and it went fine, everyone was nice and supporting. I seriously can't imagine someone being so blunt like that, I would have so slapped him...but I do understand what you mean.

In India, basically all the males of my family sit down together and discuss issues like politics, the stock market and cricket together. I always tend to join them (am really close to my grand dad and I don't care about fashion and clothes- what the ladies focus on) and whenever I point out smart something, some of them are shocked or pleasantly surprised that I, being a girl, can know stuff like that. It's not so much discrimination, but there's an orthodox idea surrounding the intelligence of girls in real life matters. It annoys me at times.

I think that the 'men' in your scenario were in fact threatened by how good your actions were and you cast an impression on them that just didn't match up with their idea of a normal girl...if you get what I mean. Nonetheless, you shouldn't get disheartened by this- you are way too smart and will get many better opportunities to show what you're made of. In fact, if I was you, I would always remember that this happened to me and try to be better than all the guys where ever I ended up working. OMG I'm still annoyed. I knew that Singapore was seemingly communist, racist, OCDist, but sexist; this was the last thing I wanted to hear.

Simran

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Well an intern I'm not sure how that threatens anything, perhaps they thought that you would learn the ropes of this company and then end up staying there for good and climb the corporate ladder. That idea is borderline obsessive paranoia...
This is quite actually quite common in more conservative traditional professions such as lawyering and even some corporations and banks to an extent. I'm sure this wouldn't happen at a google or Facebook-esque kind of company.

I'm with Arrowhead on this one, seems that if he was so open and willing to say that, its not that big of a deal. if you said that In North America, you would have a chat with your boss which would end with you getting your stuff from your desk and putting it in a box, maybe even a law-suit, and those kinds of cases you always, always lose...

Actually in North America you almost can;t say anything!

Edited by Luka Petrovic

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There is the other option that he lied, maybe someone in the group had a networking connection, therefore bumped up the selection process so it didn't matter how much you outspoke everyone else!

I wouldn't want to work for someone like that if I were you anyway! I am equally offended by his backwards mindedness. I've also been put in similar but not identical situtions where others were selected over me for phony bs reasons. Best to gain something out of it and move on to bigger and better things! You sound like a high achiever who could make use of other opportunities as well.

Goodluck!

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I don't think it makes people feel threatened as such, I just think it's often about comfort zone - I doubt they're worried about a specific thing, more that it's just a blokey environment and they prefer it that way. Definitely I've been in a few blokey environments where the conversation and humour and so on is definitely "lad" type humour and it's not like a woman being there would 'threaten' the people there, just that it would change the atmosphere in which they operate. Literally operate, ahah, surgeons are very much this way. Equally I think there are public perceptions sometimes which these places have to meet. I know of very competent women e.g. Doctors who have had people refuse to believe they're a doctor, refuse to be seen by them and generally been surprised that a woman is in that role. The world has changed in the UK and honestly I don't think that there's a great amount of public perception based gender bias in most professions, any bias left over tends to be internal and within the profession itself - but I think you can't forget that sometimes it's also a societal thing that you expect your Lawyer, Doctor, whatever to be a particular gender, and that can translate into company practice.

If you look at statistics for performance in any sector as relates to gender, it's clear that the most successful group is a mixed-gender group and not a load of men or a load of women, so if they're kicking you out then they're massive idiots who are losing a good potential employee and also shooting themselves in the foot. Thank god they don't represent all men or all law firms is all I can say.

I'm sorry that this still happens in the world, to be honest x___X

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Thanks for all your input guys. I'm just gonna take this one on the chin and move on. Hope this stuff doesn't happen in places like the UK, where I intend to study and possibly migrate to.

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Although it was sexist, it does show how good you were. But damn, I never knew Singapore was this sexist. What the hell. Major disappointment.

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