The Truth Behind Being The Only Women In A Male Dominated Industry
Start writing a post

The Truth Behind Being The Only Women In A Male Dominated Industry

They spent more time telling me they would find me a Ghanian husband rather then critiquing my work.

The Truth Behind Being The Only Women In A Male Dominated Industry

"Oh you are Mrs?" said one of my coworkers one day before I was leaving. It was the first time I had met this particular coworker, and we didn't even get to the moment of exchanging names. Yet, after his first glance at me and catching the sparkle of my "wedding ring," his immediate interest in me was in the state of my eligibility.

Being the only woman at my newspaper internship gave me a new perspective on gender inequity globally. In the USA, I had felt many times that I was taken less seriously than my male counterparts. I would sometimes get asked out in the middle of an interview or get called "sweetie" or "sweetheart." Unfortunately, even some professors told me that in the journalism industry, with my specific field of interest, a man would most likely get the job. Being in a different culture and work environment I was eager to learn what it meant to be a woman in the journalism world beyond the USA.

Working at the Today newspaper was like being in the Boys Club. As the only woman and the only foreigner in the office, I sometimes felt ignored. All the men communicated with each other in Twi and only spoke with me regarding an assignment, or, more commonly, regarding my relationship with my significant other. They also pressed me on my plans to have children. Plus, even though I wore a fake wedding ring, they often asked if I would like them to find me a Ghanaian husband.

Although I had been forewarned that Ghanaian work sites generally require considerable initiative by foreign interns, I felt that I was more neglected and faced more challenges than a male intern likely would have experienced. Male coworkers seldom engaged in serious conversations with me and gave me inadequate instructions for completing a task. As an example, one day I was assigned to go to Parliament. I asked my editor-in-chief if I should wear anything specific or bring documentation. He told me no, that I was fine. The following workday I dressed more conservatively than usual and went to Parliament along with a coworker. When we arrived the security guard gave me a disapproving look and asked my coworker if I'd brought a jacket. The security guard never once spoke to me. Though my coworker and I were there equally to report, the security guard somehow felt a need to direct all questions to my male coworker. I ended up in the security office due to my sleeves not being long enough, though no one had instructed me that my arms should be covered.

My workplace also lacked certain material resources for having females on the staff. There was only one washroom labeled "MEN," and, without going into detail, the men's restroom was not adequate for the needs of women.

Straight up, I have mad respect for all the women in Ghana who go to work every day, as I see how hard it can be at some workplaces. I heard secondhand horror stories of sexual harassment and how some men claimed this was normal in the culture. Being a woman in a room full of men is almost always difficult, but a more patriarchal culture can pose even greater challenges, at least in my observation. As more women enter the workplace and take on leadership roles, I am hopeful for positive changes in the professional world for women in Ghana and globally.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments