Being a woman in the professional world often involves confronting many challenges. One of the most common obstacles women face is working in a primarily male-dominated field. Currently, I work as an intern/supervisor with the food and beverage company, Delaware North. Here, I work in two separate arenas, both dominated by male management.
While I have never encountered any significant issues pertaining to the actual work, I have occasionally found it difficult to assert myself in a position of power. This is not necessarily just because of the male management themselves, but often guests or clients expect to interact with a male when asking for a manager/supervisor. On multiple occasions, I have experienced disrespectful comments or treatment when I try and alleviate problems as a supervisor.
I am a young female trying to establish myself in a position that carries responsibilities and influence. When I am met with guests that believe they can speak over me, interrupt me, or speak down to me because of my gender, it can be frustrating. Although I have learned and I work on keeping patience with these types of guests, it has definitely been a journey of learning how to assert dominance in situations like these. People often fail to realize that age does not equal experience. There are many employees that are significantly older than me that are starting their first job in the food and beverage industry. Although I am young I have been working within this industry for roughly 4+ years and in customer service positions for almost 6.
Age clearly does not equate to the amount of experience a person has, however, it often demands more respect. Another thing older generations of the population have had difficulty coming to terms with is that women are just as capable and competent in positions of power as males are. Now imagine both of these factors combined. As a woman, these situations can be intimidating when having to assert authority and hold your own with those who deny your position’s validity. Even though I have been able to overcome and work through obstacles like these, not everyone can. In other fields, it can be almost impossible to establish yourself no matter how hard you work. This is something that should not be so much of a barrier in today’s age. We are at a point in society where we should be able to have equal opportunity to progress into management, as well as be treated with an equal level of respect as a woman.