Just an anecdotal observation, but for the record (and hey, it’s my blog)..
In just the past two weeks, two friends of mine – both women, both mid-to-late-30s – have faced situations at work where the obvious answer is to promote each of them to a leadership position. In both situations another individual, a man, junior in rank or qualification, is also apparently under serious consideration for the job, against all logic and in contradiction to previous discussions with my friends. Funny, that.
When I was in my early 20s I listened to and believed the feminists of a certain age who said that once you’re no longer a cute young thang and have become serious competition for leadership–especially over other ambitious men, that that’s when the glass ceiling really begins to make its appearance. I’ve seen my own effectiveness diminish in certain ways as I’m no longer the precocious and bright youngster (ain’t she precious.. walks, talks, and thinks!), but instead become the authoritative and doesn’t-want-to-deal-with-bullshit (approaching) middle-aged woman. (“A woman? Said no to me? Me? Mr. BIGSHOT?? How dare she!” I paraphrase, of course.) I’ve talked to women a decade or more older than me who have warinesses I’m only beginning to acquire. But acquiring them quickly, I am. There’s a reason, after all, that age discrimination protections kick in at 40.
It’s all so very, very depressing.
My vacation is over. I have to go back to work tomorrow. From peeks at my email box, multiple piles of messes to untangle await me. Ohhh. Joy.