Did They Really Say That?

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The truth behind inequality within the bidding world…

Anonymous comments shared with the WIBAP team

  • Finding out a male colleague in the exact same position (you have the same level of education, roughly the same years’ experience and arguably you are working on more ‘must win’ bids) is earning £20k more than you
  • Finding that male stakeholders and male colleagues are going to the pub after work to watch footy and haven’t invited you
  • When being assertive within the room to ensure you’re having the right conversations around bid strategy, and you’re called bossy
  • A male colleague who started on the same day, in the same role, is promoted above you and within two years is your line manager – without any of those positions being advertised (he was related to someone in senior management and did all the social stuff)
  • Being the only woman on the executive board and being asked to make tea and coffee for
  • everyone in the room
  • With only a few women within a large group of men, you’re always asked to come to the front of the group when marketing pictures are taken
  • When you attend a sales training course and get asked if you’re going to be able keep your attention in the room when you can see the shops from the window
    • Having your outfit commented on every morning you walk into the war room. This goes on for weeks throughout the proposal lifecycle but none of the men receive the same comments.
    • When a senior male colleague asks another male colleague, “How did he score that?” following a professional conversation with a female bid manager
    • When a male colleague walks past 10 other people to ask you, the only woman, if you knew where the stapler was in the office

Would You Say It To A Male?

  • “Can you type this?” (When the male bid manager who is actually working with that stakeholder is sitting right there)
  • In an elevator, alone, with a stakeholder you work with often, and after saying hello, their response: “Oh I didn’t recognise you there, you look like one of the cleaners.”
  • “What’s wrong with you, you seem grumpy?”
  • Run into a 7am meeting with a C-suite executive five minutes late (clearly flustered and apologetic due to trains being cancelled). C-suite executive comments, “Oh she’s here now, she was just doing her hair.”
  • “We need this printed for our meeting, can you do it?” (To the female bid manager as opposed to the male bid manager or male bid coordinator who are also involved in the meeting)
  • “I guess we should also try to find a girl to sit in the meeting too, to show the client we’re diverse.”
  • “I heard you were working from home yesterday. I bet you were actually getting your tan done and going to the shops.”
  • “I hope you’re not using the printer to print explicit photos.” Said by a man you’ve never spoken to before.
  • “Oh you’re wearing a dress today, who are you trying to pull?”
  • “Can you take the minutes? It’s just because you have better handwriting.”

This article was written by WIBAP.

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