a not so simple pronoun

October 21, 2010

I was in a meeting today that involved a lot of discussion … not all of which I agreed with but I miraculously kept my mouth shut.  Let’s take a moment to get over the shock.

Afterward I went up to one of the presenters and told him that I agreed with what he said not just about his area but about other areas and we discussed the need for subject matter experts but also wider spheres of influence and maneuverability within a job.

He gave this example…

If you have a small department and they have one computer support person, she is never going to be able to get beyond the everyday tasks.  She would have to quit that job and get another one to get more training and rise up any kind of career track.  We can’t hire exceptional employees when they know it’s a dead-end job.  If there was a central location for tech support then there would be more opportunities for advancement without leaving the organization.

I agree with his scenario, I’ve seen it happen, it’s happened to me… but that’s not what got to me.

What got to me is that he told the story of a computer technician and in his story the tech was a girl.

He didn’t pause in his telling, it didn’t seem like he made a conscious effort to be inclusive.  He just told the story of a person… that person just happened to be female and in the tech field.

As a female formerly of the tech field… it just made my little feminist heart flutter.  It was a lovely little moment of win and we all don’t have enough of those.



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