Aren’t you surprised? Yeppers, us too.
“Well, you’ve certainly proven that a woman can do your job.”
Was my boss being sarcastic or did I just time-warp back to 1950, I wondered as I sat in my self-requested performance review. This job was an assistant position; even in the ’50s, women had proven themselves in admin roles.
It wasn’t hard to hide my shock, because after a year of working for my boss, who was the head of the scripted development department at this medium-sized studio, I’d heard him make similar comments. He applauded the fact that he hadn’t heard me crying in the bathroom, something he’d experienced with a previous female assistant. It seemed to me there were a lot of people he liked to rant about (this woman was spineless, that one had no clue what she was doing, etc.).
But I’d also worked in film/TV for seven years, so I knew people such as him were a reality of the entertainment industry. And of course, there are always those who charm the right person and hate on everyone else, or bosses who don’t help their employees grow and expand.
However, I was passionate about developing scripts and believed I had strong story skills, so I pressed on, determined to earn that promotion. I worked weekends, I pored over scripts, and I honed my editing/note-giving skills, hoping my boss would allow me to join a meeting or, you know, do anything of consequence. I asked for more challenging work when it seemed appropriate.
Well, spoiler alert: I didn’t get promoted. My boss said that while I had excellent administrative and organizational skills, I lacked the aptitude to be anything more in the development world, and he would never promote me under his aegis (his words)….