While overt misogyny can be heard, dealt with, and managed professionally, subtle microaggressions can be difficult to voice, especially if a superior happens to be male. Microaggressions take the form of assuming a woman is more junior than she actually is, being condescending or talking down, or even questioning a woman’s judgments. According to McKinsey, two-thirds of women experience microaggressions in the workplace on a regular basis.
Paula Horwatitsch Cunha, Project Manager for RDB, recalls her experience with working in an industry that is dominated by men especially in Brazil, her home country: “South America is pretty much a white, male-dominated advertising environment. The primary challenge for me was not seeing women represented in the organigram above me so frequently as men.”
As RDB’s expert in HR and women’s empowerment, this is a case that Sarah Bounouira has often seen. Creating change within an industry can be a difficult task, especially since it isn’t up to any one person, but a collective effort.
When you face discrimination in the workplace, Bounouira advises that you take back your own power in any way that you can. “Raise your voice and don’t be intimidated. It’s important to know your value, to accept your strengths and weaknesses equally, and to stay in alignment with yourself. When you know your values and align with the core of who you are, you are going to perform in the best possible way.”