How Would Work Be Different If No One Knew Your Gender?

Illustration of overlapping silhouettes with speech bubbles

Authored by

NLI Staff
In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked the question “How would work be different if no one knew your gender?” Here are highlights from the responses we received.

While talking about how to celebrate Women’s History Month, we began to wonder how gender has impacted people’s experiences at work. So we asked our community: How would work be different if no one knew your gender? All month, we’ve been gathering your stories. Here are some highlights from the responses we received.

Image shows a comic strip with six boxes. The first box says “How would work be different if no one knew your gender?” The other boxes all show women with speech bubbles above their heads. The first speech bubble says: “If nobody at work knew I was a woman, I would have more chances. I think my voice would be respected more in times of conflict or when I’m being assertive.” The second speech bubble says “I was told to smile more and if I was assertive I was answered with ‘yes mom.’ My male counterparts weren’t told to smile more and were never called Dad.” The third speech bubble says “If people didn’t know my gender or race, people would assume I’m competent rather than my having to prove it. I could raise objections without risking being perceived as angry.” The fourth speech bubble says “I’ve had a man in an authoritative position dismiss me in a conversation as ‘just passionate’ while refusing to acknowledge the racism I was bringing to his attention. I would love to see a man dismiss another man as ‘just passionate.’” The fifth speech bubble says “I was once told I didn't get the support I wanted because I didn't have a man speak for me.”

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