My Boss


I am a smart and capable person who was a manager at my company for several years before voluntarily taking an individual contributor role that looked interesting in another department. It was sort of meant to be a “passion project” for me and the director who hired me fully supported this understanding that I would retain a level of respect and authority in the role. This director left the company unfortunately, and who I actually ended up reporting to is an older white male who other women and minorities in my department have disclosed to me make them uncomfortable. In line with others’ experiences, I too often feel disrespected by him, dismissed, or treated like a secretary even though I am a licensed professional just like him. I have found a certain peace of mind in this situation since the job is low stress, my boss mostly neglects me and therefore doesn’t make lots of demands, and I am paid equivalently to roles that have been much higher stress. However, a little part of me wilts a little every time he treats me this way in front of others. I’m concerned I’m reinforcing a dynamic that it’s okay for a female minority like myself to be treated that way. Also, I worked very hard in school and life to get where I’m at and it can be psychologically damaging to see this happen over and over again. Talking with HR has helped slightly, but not much.

How can I look at this in a helpful way? I do not want to invalidate my experience, but I do want to find a way through that is empowering.