I dont expect to win votes on this but seriously, this is an aweful article. Women suffering actual sexism I do take issue with but lets analyse the 'problems' here-
"He told me that standing out was a distraction and customers would judge me less on my looks and more on my skills if I toned down my appearance. We talked about keeping my hair pulled back and wearing more neutral attire like the rest of the guys on the team. I took his advice: I traded my heels and Ann Taylor outfits for Gap khakis, button-down shirts and comfy Clarks. I was an IT guy now; I was one of the boys."
So we have a group of people (the guys as she points out) who dress one way. Then we have someone who makes an effort to look entirely different and then complains because this is noticed. Why do you wear make-up? If you dont know then check the adverts, its to be noticed AS A WOMAN. If the guys came in painted up would they be noticed for it? Yeah duh. Why do you wear heels (not comfy and designed to make your womans body shape more prominent) instead of (in your words) comfy shoes? Or your outfits no doubt designed to show off your body traded for comfy clothes? Is it because the rest of the group is wearing them? No, because you made the trade of your flashy clothes to blend into the group you are working in.
If one of the guys dressed up in whatever showed off his 6 pack and tightly clung to his muscles while pained up and wearing platforms I am sure he would get looks and comments, and probably surprise that he can do IT.
"I made sure that I didn’t fall behind on what was going on in the industry, but being away for six months (three at the desk, three on leave), you get rusty – and the added pressure of a new baby made it worse. I was behind, and I knew it. I was competing against young men in their early 20s who could work all sorts of crazy hours. All of the “fun” projects were given to my male counterparts, and I was left maintaining the desk with a little bit of technical work to keep me content."
So you took a desk job for 3 months then 3 months off and complain that you were considered rusty? If one of the guys moved to a desk job and then took 3 months off I am sure he would be assumed a little rusty too. If he came back and found he had personal troubles which got in the way of him competing with the other staff he too would likely find himself being pushed out of the way too.
"This is where I failed and let the stereotype of IT being a man’s world carry on. I did not tell my manager that this bothered me until it was too late, and I had already started looking for a new job. I was doing what I had been taught to do since grade school: behave and sit quietly."
So you (YOU!!!!!!!!) didnt speak up. Well done. You act the stereotype of not speaking up. Congrats. Instead you went looking for a new job because people wouldnt just read your mind and do what you telepathically wanted. Really? Go away.
"As I’ve grown professionally and gained recognition from my superiors, I no longer hide behind khakis and polo shirts. I wear pretty shoes, paint my nails with glitter, and change my hair colour as often as Microsoft releases security patches."
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I went to uni with a guy who changed his hair colour regularly and painted his nails. Guess how seriously he was/is taken? He prefers ripped clothing instead of pretty but the outcome is the same.
All in all a self made situation is not a real situation. Real sexism is bad. This is complaining because you want to