I work for a company that I loved since I was in my early twenties. I was thrilled when I was recruited to work for them. For over two years I've been trying to bring in more women into not just the organization, but especially my department. I was the only female leader in the entire department, and we have a high turnover of women in the company overall.
Last year, I blew the whistle on blatant favoritism and sexism. I spoke up to my manager, telling him that his biases really make it tough for me to succeed. I gave him specific examples where he treated the men on the team exponentially better and asked him to please treat me no different than them.
This backfired. As a result, I lost the promotion I was up for (he hired another white man into the role from the outside), he gave me a pretty mean review and a week after that, he took my team away and made me an individual contributor again.
I have won awards for my leadership. I have spoken at universities and various events on the topic of women in tech and I was always proud of being recognized as one of the strongest leaders in my industry.
Now though, I just feel beaten down and afraid of further retaliation.
I'm afraid to even look for another job, because I worry it's going to be no different elsewhere. I work for a very large media/tech company and almost all the women I've met in my space have experienced this treatment.
I'm torn. Should I stay and fight for the sake of all the young women that come after me, and switch to a different department, or should I just start looking? There are lots of reports from women in my industry with the same examples, so I fear it's just going to be bad no matter where I go.
My friend, who is a VP and executive coach, told me I needed to find my tribe - companies that use my unique strength for the good and don't weaponize them. What do you think?