Surely we have much bigger demons to fight now. But skewed gender dynamics can happen in any workplace, and I'm here to tell you: Sisters, you don't have to be Bro. Even in the White House.
Alyssa Mastromonaco worked as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Obama White House, and has a wonderfully refreshing view of what it means to be everything you are as a woman at work. To be surrounded by more men than women and to unpick which dynamics are down to your gender, which are down to your discipline – and what is and is not within your control.Her article is very empowering and gives good practical insights under some rather delightful headings:1. Don't look for sexism, but don't ignore it either.
2. Don't give the assholes any ammo.
3. Never do something at work that makes you feel uncomfortable just to fit in with the guys.
4. If another woman is experiencing legitimate sexism or any kind of unfair treatment, support her.
I dare not draw comparisons between the administration of yore and the current one. A very interesting piece in spite of it all.
The beginning of the Obama administration was especially male because our number-one priority was addressing the economic recession, and most economists are men. Though I now try my hardest to avoid anything to do with calculations, at the time I often sat in on meetings in order to get a sense of how I should arrange the schedule so POTUS could best address the crisis. I frequently felt like I didn't fit in. For a while I thought that was because I was a five-foot-two woman who often wore a shirt with little hearts all over it. But then I realized it wasn't because I was a woman at all — it was because I wasn't an economist.