The Continuing War of Relatable Positivity vs. Authority
Engineer with a Femme STEM Advocate Twist
October 26,2020 at 2:41PM UTC
I have always been a “glass-half full” kind of employee. I approach Troubleshooting as a challenge that I can’t wat to figure out. I’ve been known as the cheerleader in a group setting because I do everything possible to lift everyone spirits up before approaching an issue in the most unbiased free-minded way to arrive at objective and simple solutions as quick as possible.
Most would categorize me as an asset to their team, a good leader. However, working in a Medical device company as an engineer (STEM career) with my type of personality has ALWAYS been challenging for me. I get targeted for bullying quite often: “You are too talkative to be in science,” “You are not like or look like many engineers,” “You don’t have the personality to be a PhD,” “You are such a feisty soul,” “I don’t think you are promotion material because you are doing such a great job at your current position. Thank you for being so positive and understanding,” and many countless others.
Let me tell you: I have a thick skin and every time I face these comments in some way or another, I ask that person what they mean and ask my colleagues too what they think it means. My male colleagues have repeatedly said something that I just can’t get over:
“You are too positive and so relatable that sometimes you need to command authority by being more serious, aggressive and by using complex words to express yourself, “
or some variation of this sentence.
So, I decided to ask you… IS THIS TRUE?
I’m a firm believer that Positivity DOES NOT KILL your Authority. Positivity and Authority are not mutually exclusive of own another; in fact, being a positive leader is an asset. Being a Positive leader brings the team moral up and establishes a connection among teammates that encourages them to work together and support each other.
Another person that has been targeted like this because of his personality is my dad. So… it could be discriminatory, or it could be something else entirely.
What are your thoughts as amazing, strong, and empowered women in the workforce? I’m dying to know. ?
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