Wondering Wanderer

Week Notes Vol 17

August 29, 2019

As of this week I am the only female on our development team of 24 people. It is a lonely place to be and the bigger the team grows the less likely it is to find another female to join the existing group. I came up across a study (Gendered Microaggressionsin Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) about only women on teams a while back and there are a few points that resonate with me.

Women who are Onlys are having a significantly worse experience than women who work with other women. More than 80 percent are on the receiving end of microaggressions, compared with 64 percent of women as a whole. They are more likely to have their abilities challenged, to be subjected to unprofessional and demeaning remarks, and to feel like they cannot talk about their personal lives at work

While they are just one person, they often become a stand-in for all women—their individual successes or failures become a litmus test for what all women are capable of doing. With everyone’s eyes on them, women Onlys can be heavily scrutinized and held to higher performance standards. As a result, they most often feel pressure to perform, on guard, and left out


Katrin Valdre

Written by Katrin Valdre who has a permanent address in Portland, OR but does not believe in one physical location. You should follow her on Twitter