Although I had always thought that I could never be discriminated for any reason, two years ago I felt discriminated. One Friday, while working in a large corporation in the administrative department, the president of the corporation organized a meeting for the administrative and accounting departments. The president of the company mentioned that the accounting department was opening a new position as Junior Controller Management. Moreover, he said that there were only two candidates who were postulated for it. I knew I was one of them.
In fact, most of my co-workers started talking about it and all were claiming me as the winner. I was extremely happy. But, I wanted to wait for the real nomination that was going to take place the following Friday after the executive meeting in which each department’s director needed to vote either for me or for my co-worker, who was a man older than me. I knew I did not have to worry, so I was extremely relax the entire week.
I always loved to work, and I always did a good job, so I thought that the position as a Junior Controller was mine. Unfortunately, it was not true. Although management knew that I was extremely qualified for the position, they could not give it to me for two reasons. The first one is that I was only 22 years old, and they thought that I was too young to handle such a high level position. Second, they told me, men always occupied the highest positions in this company, and even if they understand that life had evolved they want to keep the company’s tradition. In addition, they said, women are more complicated than men.
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For instance, women only care to get married and have children. I explained to them that it was not my case. Yet, the decision was already taken and all of the executive members agreed that giving the position to a male gender was the right choice. At that moment, I was almost paralyzed.
I could not believe what I was living. I kept asking myself that the United States was a free country and all its citizens have the same rights of freedom and equality. Not only I felt totally frustrated and disillusioned because I did not get the promotion, but also because I understood that it was not fair what this people were doing with me. In fact, I realized that I was a vivid example of one or maybe two types of discrimination factors such as gender and age.
I could not accept the fact that I was discriminated for being a young woman, and not because of my competency for the position. My reaction to this episode was not smart. Although once I thought about the idea of suing the company for discrimination, later I though it was ridiculous because I knew that I was going to waste time, money and I was not ready for something like that. Today, I think differently.
I regret for not suing them. From that moment and on, I decided to start looking for another job because I acknowledged that it was impossible to think about getting promoted to a high level position in that company. It has been almost one year, and I still remember the conversation that I had with those men, who were trying to convince me, that they were not against me; they said that they were being realistic. I started working for another company, and I feel much better because the owner of the company is a woman.
Now, I know that my rights are protected. In fact, one of the reasons that I began to work there was that this company has an extremely good reputation with respect to equality. I should have fought for my rights and equality in the other company, but we all know that these types of cases take place everyday and everywhere. I learned that we need to try not discriminated anyone. I know that sometimes unconsciously with discriminate people because of their ethnicity, religion and race. But, it is not fair.
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Yet, I learned this from my own experience because as I said before I never thought that a person like me could be discriminated as I was just two years ago.