The interviewer well knew he couldn’t say anything, but admittedly, he fumbled his words as he began to question the perspective job candidate. He thought, “I would have never invited her to interview had a known she was a girl. Really? No female has ever held this position–this is a man’s job. Hell, it’s been a man’s job since its inception. Fortunately, his inner voice reminded him to look at her credentials, talk to her like he would to his own daughters, and then decide.
Sadly, this is a true story, but my kid got the job in spite of her sex. “Mom, I only got the job because of my first name. The news station folk assumed I was a guy, but I did smoke the interview!”
While this event occurred several years ago, I find myself replaying it over in my head. Women make up over 50% of America’s population. Developing countries suffer for their lack of commitment to educating women. In my high school years, there were no girls’ competitive sports; our career choices were few. Be a nurse, a secretary, a teacher. “But I want to be a….” Sorry, that door is closed.
Granted, with Title IX and forward thinking, the status of women has improved. However, stereotypes remain, i.e. OMG, a woman can NOT be President of the United States. The glass ceiling remains.
I humbly offer a word of advice to soon-to-be mothers of daughters: do your kid a favor. Name her Alex, Clancy, Bailey, Remington, Cameron, Riley or Kyle. If you want your daughter to at least get an interview for her dream job, don’t burden her with a name like Sue, Shirley, or Nancy. Don’t get creative and feminize it by changing the spelling, as Rylee, Alexandria, or Remylou.
No, I doubt in the foreseeable future we’ll not experience equal pay for equal work. I doubt we’ll experience equal access into executive positions nor board rooms. In politics, rhetoric continues to demean women as stupid, “suburban housewives,” who are incapable of thought, let alone success. I urge you to consider giving your daughter her OWN opportunity to prove herself worthy of scoring a seat on the Supreme Court, leading a major corporation, or finding a cure for cancer. Forget sex-identifying names. Choose Cameron, Blake, or Scout.