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Gendered feedback?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by AilaA, May 18, 2019.

  1. AilaA

    AilaA New commenter

    I recently applied for a promotion and received some fairly personal feedback. The employer said that the panel were satisfied that I’d demonstrated my ability to do the job, were impressed by my curricular expertise and could tell that my determination to succeed was clear, but that I needed to think about how my ambition was perceived by employers.
    A male colleague recently applied at the same institution and was given much more constructive feedback, pointing towards experiences he should demonstrate in future interviews.
    I can’t help feeling that a man would be far less likely to receive the type of personal feedback that I have received, and that they wouldn’t be made to feel ashamed about wanting to further their careers. I’d be interested to know if any other women have experienced similar feedback. It’s worth mentioning that I placed my absolute commitment to the students, the quality of their education and their life chances at the heart of my answers, and therefore feel that I proved I was in it for the ‘right reasons’.
  2. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Without contextual knowledge of your situation it’s hard to say....... or to justify your claims of sexual discrimination..

    It may well be your personality and how you come across to the panel, it sounds
  3. sabram86

    sabram86 Occasional commenter

    Ambition is normally welcomed by employers, but, as with most things, an excess of something good becomes a vice. Was their judgement correct? Well, you were turned down for a job and now you are reaching for accusations of discrimination on the ground of sex and, in all likelihood, contemplating going to a tribunal.

    Most employers do not want such a headache. With such a person, the law essentially makes them choose non-male candidates who they are sure will succeed. Otherwise, they will be open to accusations of sexism. An overly ambitious candidate is perhaps more likely to complain if and when their career falters. They are thus harder to deal with than a male candidate of the same ability, who will be much less of a risk (and who will not go off for a year at a time on maternity leave).

    Anti-discrimination laws, in some cases, favour appointing men. Such is life.
  4. AilaA

    AilaA New commenter

    I’m not going to a tribunal. I don’t think I was discriminated against, certainly not knowingly. I’m just sadly reflecting on the fact that my colleague has some practical, competency-related advice to work on in the future whereas I, a woman, must think more about the way I am perceived by others. This is perhaps unconscious sexism in my view, entrenched in our societal values, and I wonder what we do about it, that’s all. I’m also not looking for anyone to explain the employer’s decision to me, as I understand why I didn’t get the job. I’m simply asking if any others have had similar experiences. There is still an enormous gender pay gap in teaching, for a variety of reasons, and I wonder if the way we read male/female behaviour at interview plays its own part to some extent.

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