Why We Don’t Like Jane When She Has Dick’s Job

While it seems that traditionally discrimination in the workplace is directed at women, it turns out that it goes both ways. A recent study reported that though you can be whatever you want to be, if you are in a position usually occupied by the opposite sex, you may have just a little more to prove. It’s not that coworkers and subordinates will start out thinking you aren’t suited to your job, but if you make a mistake, they will judge you more harshly than an opposite sex peer. If a female firefighter chief screws up, it’ll be harder for her male coworkers to forget. Likewise, the reverse is true; female coworkers are much more likely to hold grudges against male bosses if his leadership role is a traditionally female job.

But don’t let that stop you from pursuing your heart’s desire. If as a young girl you always wanted to be a stand-up comedian or as a boy you wanted to be a nurse — then follow your dream. Just be aware that you will be looked at in a different light, mostly by your colleagues. But hey, if you’re the type to step outside the gender box anyway, chances are you probably had to work doubly hard to get to where you are today. Plus, you had to take more risks. And because you’re not afraid to work hard to get the job, you’ll probably work even harder to keep it.

Haters will always hate, but research also show that their hate is only keeping themselves down. And while the authors of the study also said that successful women in positions that were usually male dominated were seen as unlikeable, who cares? Truthfully, at the end of the day, the bottom line is this: people that are bound by stereotypes are bound to hold one very important person back — themselves.

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