Team Dynamics question

New gondola
Mar 28 9 Comments

How do you deal with uncomfortable issues with male coworkers in meetings. 

I find my ideas and things I propose are looked at with scepticism by even more junior engineers, any architecture and system diagrams are pretty much questioned - a lot of the questions are even pointless, and in general a very weird vibe every time I'm in a meeting with people I'm working with. Some people try to replicate my work. One person went ahead on a design decision without even discussing it with me. Some schedule meetings with each other sometimes early in the morning or after hours. 

This was not the case when I was working with older men. But when I work with men younger and junior to me (even new grads with 1yoe) there's just so much discomfort. I am in my 30s and look pretty young - I'm South Asian. Maybe my appearance doesn't show that I am experienced? I don't know. Also I don't know if it's typical of being the only woman in the room, or maybe it's just with us females, I am less confrontational and always tend to take feedback and consensus when proposing anything. I always get mansplained and talked over. Or made to feel that what I said was stupid.

I've had one on ones with my managers and skip level people. They seem pretty happy and I feel a sense of positivity from them. However the men I work with on my team - I don't have the greatest dynamic like I explained above. I guess you know that it's hard to go forward in your career if your immediate coworkers and project team mates are less than ideal in terms of interpersonal dynamic. 

I'm getting almost demoralized on how hard its going to be to move up in this industry if I choose on going the tech/ architect route. 

MS + 11yoe, 350k, non FAANG but one of those usual big companies.

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TOP 9 Comments
  • Aurora bystander!
    Here is the gist of all the comments you will receive on this: life isn’t fair. Some you win, some you lose (based on age, gender, race, color, age, luck and smarts).

    So go have a glass of wine and relax.
    Mar 28 4
    • New gondola
      OP
      It's these kind of thoughts which make "women in tech" efforts a necessity even in 2019!
      Honestly, instead of woman, if I said African American or Chinese would you make the same comment?
      Mar 28
    • Aurora bystander!
      Yep. I say this to my wife, who is not white.

      And I bet in a decade you will say this to a younger boy or girl.

      But sure, go with “women in.... “ and turn all stones you can. Power to you girl.
      Mar 28
    • New gondola
      OP
      I've been in the industry a decade. I doubt I'll say this to anyone. Feeling shitty in work situations because of people not able to handle age, gender, race is not the same as, just having bad luck. Your wife must feel really bad with your apathy.
      Mar 28
    • Aurora bystander!
      A decade ... hmm 🤔
      Fire burns bright in you.
      Change the world dear .. first step, come and complain on Blind! :)
      Mar 28
  • Oracle msK7er
    So people question your architecture and you take offense on that?

    I read enough. You might be in a really shitty team but you have work to do on yourself too.
    Mar 28 2
    • New gondola
      OP
      Questioning is healthy. I'm all for it. However if it comes from a condescending tone and they don't have any quantifiable problem with it besides saying something on the lines of "it's needlessly complex" without proposing something better, or provide pretty much no feedback, and just have lunch meetings among themselves without you, it feels like you are being excluded.

      I've been through a grad school defense and have been in a doctoral program so I'm no stranger to people questioning my ideas.

      At this point it just feels that I'm being penalized for being ineligible to be part of the young boys club.
      Mar 28
    • Oracle msK7er
      You need to control the narrative. Someone says it’s complex, you ask them to clarify. You take control. If they can’t provide substance, you move ahead.

      Nobody will give you anything for free. For women, it’s harder. Learn how to control the narrative. Crying won’t help. Complaining will make it worse.
      Mar 28
  • Twitter xhqQ42
    This books explains a lot of things well: “nice girl don't get the corner office”. I know the title is silly.

    Practicing martial arts helps, try boxing, aikido, anything. It’s actually not about martial arts, it’s about taking control physically and mentally, like the other reply said.
    Mar 28 0