Humor, Life

21 things you have to deal with as the only woman in your office

You’re told to "smile" at the most random moments.

Being the only woman at work isn’t exactly a walk in the park. While you have your eyes set on achieving professional goals and milestones, the men around you may not exactly be on your team, and it’s up to you to make sure you fight for your right to speak your mind, do good work, and take up any space necessary to be the very best you can be.

But getting all that done isn’t without its challenges.

1. You can be tough as nails but men still treat you with kid gloves

Yup That'S Right GIF by Katelyn Tarver
[Image Description] A blonde woman sips from a red teacup.
They’ll tell you “it’s okay” and “don’t worry” and “everything will be fine.” But, in truth, you’re not even stressed. They’re the ones who need reassurance.

2. Your colleagues tell you they value your opinion, then criticize you for expressing it

Hun What GIF by Women's History Month
[Image Description] A young woman with dark hair and glasses looks confused.
Nothing like being told you’re allowed to have an opinion and then having it stripped away like every other part of your humanity.

3. You often have to sit through sexist conversations

Over It Eye Roll GIF
[Image Description] Angela Bassett turns around and rolls her eyes.
Blatant sexist talk is just blindly accepted as part of a male-dominated environment. And when you don’t participate, they think it’s “cute” and “funny.” News flash: it’s not.

4. At least once a day, someone will mansplain something (anything!) to you

Kamala Harris Mansplaining GIF by Ari Spool, Community Curator
[Image Description] Kamala Harris sits at a desk and raises her eyebrows impatiently.
You could be talking to someone about the weather and they’ll go on a tirade about how the weather works. As if you don’t already know.

5. You’re told to “smile” at the most random moments

mansplaining middle finger GIF by Women's History Month
[Image Description] A young woman sarcastically lifts her cheeks into a smile with her middle fingers.
Or someone will tell you that you should smile more…because that’s all women are good for, isn’t it?

6. You’re expected to be “one of the guys” while also maintaining a “safe” level of femininity

zendaya coleman gtfo GIF
[Image Description] Zendaya waves her hand and rolls her eyes. The text overlay reads “Bye”
They want you to toughen up so you’re not a weakling, but also play up your femininity to appease them. You know what I say? BYE. 

7. Locker room talk is par for the course during company lunches

Nicole Richie No GIF
[Image Description] Nicole Ritchie sits during an interview and says “That’s Not Cute.”
“It’s like the dessert menu when pretty girls walk by. That’s what my dad always said.” Wait, what?

8. You hesitate before changing your hair or clothing style for fear that your colleagues will offer unsolicited opinions

Clueless Alicia Silverstone GIF by Hollywood Suite
[Image Description] Alicia Silverstone shoves a man away from her and mouths “As If!”
Someone at some point will say something. And then what do you do? Grin and bear it? I think not.

9. Your colleagues interrupt or talk over you during a meeting

Parks And Recreation Lol GIF by Amy Poehler's Smart Girls
April from Parks and Recreation points to her head and says, “Because we’re smart.” In the background, Andy throws a ball at the wall and falls to the floor.

Why allow a female voice to speak up when there are five male ones that could overpower it? So frustrating!

10. Or worse…they invalidate any intelligent point you make simply because they can

Warning Parks And Recreation GIF
[Image Description] Donna from Parks and Recreation looks at a man and says “You better watch yourself.”
Yes, go ahead and pretend I didn’t just say the smartest thing you’ve heard all week.

11. You constantly feel outnumbered and, in turn, constantly feel threatened

Leslie Knope GIF
[Image Description] Leslie from Parks and Recreation stands outside a crowded room and winces.
Will they yell at me? Ridicule me? Make me feel less than simply because I’m a woman? 

12. Your male colleagues are extra nice to you to the point of being disingenuous…and you’re certain it’s because of your gender

Sassy Manjit Minhas GIF by CBC
[Image Description] Manjit Minhas rolls her eyes and says “Don’t.”
As if you need a male to soothe and guide you every step of your professional journey. Please.

13. Meetings often consist of dudes puffing out their chest and trying to outdo each other

krysten ritter eye roll GIF
[Image Description] Krysten Ritter bangs rolls her eyes and drops her head in an exasperated fashion.
And you’re just sitting there confounded by the scene unfolding before you.

14. At least once every hour, you find yourself muttering things like: “Really?” or “Are you kidding me?”

Camila Mendes Seriously GIF
[Image Description] Camila Mendes furrows her brow and says, “Are you kidding me?”
I mean, what else are you supposed to say when your male coworkers are consistently acting a fool?

15. Your colleagues band together at any cost to make you feel like the odd one out

i cannot be intimidated maxine waters GIF by Identity
[Image Description] Politician Maxine Waters looks at the camera and says, “I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I’m a strong black woman.”
Especially if you’ve stolen their spotlight.

16. You feel exhausted at the thought of sitting through another day-long, male-dominated meeting

Corporate Meeting GIF by Yosub Kim, Content Strategy Director
[Image Description] Oprah waves her arms in the air and screams. Text overlay reads, “You get a meeting!”
Because who wants to sit in a conference room and objectify women or talk about how great we are when there’s actual work to do?

17. You’re accused of being “bitchy” or having a “bad attitude” when all you really want is to get shit done

Selena Gomez Whatever GIF
[Image Description] Selena Gomez sits in a chair and shrugs.
And, really, it’s all because you’re awesome at your job and they’re intimidated by that.

18. What’s worse is that you’re told you’re “overreacting” when you have a legitimate complaint about something

the killers tk s GIF
[Image Description] Old Hollywood actress Ava Gardner wears a hat and stares blankly into the distance.
You could literally be clenching your jaw and staring straight into the depths of their soul and they’d still try to make you feel inferior somehow.

19. Your best ideas will be passed off as someone else’s

parks and recreation wtf GIF by HULU
[Image Description] Ann from Parks and Recreation looks confused and waves her hand in the air.
Because “it sounds better coming from a guy.” Sure it does…

20. You’re made to feel like you need to apologize for taking up any space, being assertive or simply knowing your job

Not Sorry Rachel Mcadams GIF
[Image Description] Rachel McAdams looks at the camera and says, “I don’t have anything to apologize for.”
Because how dare you take the spotlight away from a guy?

21. You have to sit through countless hours of men complaining that the #MeToo movement is a “witch hunt”

 freddie ladylike yeah right incredulous oh please GIF
[Image Description] A young woman looks at the camera and rolls her eyes to each side.
And this rant is usually followed by a “not all men” discussion.

This all seems like a lot to handle, but you’re strong. You’ve got this!