Women working in a male-dominated industry

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION Women working in a male-dominated industry

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    It’s funny you mention the discrimination against gays. I’ve worked at a couple of firms that were owned by gay men and had a former business partner who was an openly gay male. Sometimes I felt discriminated against because I was straight. I was never invited to the parties or out for a drink after work. I also recall being referred to as a breeder. They just assumed (as in prejudged) that I was some narrow minded macho guy and wouldn’t come, but they were wrong. I would have come because I enjoyed their company and I was secure with myself. I guess it’s just human nature to “clique up” into groups.


    By the way, it should be no surprise that there are prejudice black folks. We’re just like everyone else; ignorance is the product of years of mis-education and segregation. It’s easy to demonize a group of people when you’re not exposed to them.

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    What is your advice on how to best proceed for people who feel discrimination is keeping them down regardless of what type it may be?

    Tanya Olson

    we can’t get funding for public education, but I’ll bet we could get funding for THAT study! ha!

    Heather Smith


    You were the one that used basketball as an example of being a team player.

    I tried to use the B-word to describe how people like you view women that are assertive. Land 8 inserted all the little doo dads.I would say when you say women are back stabbers that you are saying they are b-words. Wouldn’t you? You certainly aren’t saying they are passionate women with ideas that they want brought to fruition. Rather they are back stabbers that want to crush everyone else. I have always wondered…would we have as many wars if women were in charge? Seriously. We are SOOO much more aggressive you know. 😉

    I honestly have no idea what has your knickers in a bunch. Didn’t get your baby seal fix in today?

    I have no problem being aggressive or assertive. What I am saying is that when a man has these tendencies people don’t consider him to unlikable. Study after study shows that there are discrepancies in the way that men and women are viewed. I didn’t know that this was new information.

    Heather Smith

    I am really surprised at the anger that is directed at you BZ Girl. I didn’t realize that there was a competition for most discriminated against. 😉 I will say though that the worst thing you could be is a black female I think it is in regards to worker discrimination…maybe a black, lesbian female would REALLY take the cake. I am a little disappointed that someone would be slammed so hard for asking questions about others experiences.

    Have a good evening everyone!


    Heather – I hope you don’t feel like I’m trying to top BZgirl’s discrimination issue. I’m just trying to say that everyone’s got their own problems and generally speaking no one cares. I say that with absolutely no anger, it’s just the way it is.


    And no, the worst thing for a person to be is weak. Everything else can be over come.


    If you’re going to let subliminal forms of discrimination rattle your cage, maybe you’re not ready to play with the big dogs. You can’t let a bunch of backward thinking meat sticks keep you from achieving your goals. Stop looking for excuses, conduct yourself as a professional and push your way through the stupidity.

    Trace One

    And all I am saying, Heather, is that despite study after study, my experience in the workplace is that men are communal, co-operative – they like to operate like a team..they also LOVE to gossip, love to play sports together, and that is what holds their group together..Women, for some reason, that I have worked with, have not been communally oriented, but instead very agressive and in it for themselves..Their agression and self-centered-ness is not looked down  on, but rewarded, and is the opposite of the way men succeed….

    Despite what studies say, that is my experience..Over and over..And it is the fear of admitting to being agressive, and playing it out in the group, that I feel holds women back..

    soccer moms are real fighters..Male CEO’s are gossips.

    Anyway, it’s just weird personal observations..Anecdotal evidence from my life..The title of my next book…

    And yes, no baby seals – we are loosing ground to the few who simply go on the beach to disturb them..that is all it takes to get rid of the natural world – just very slight disruption, and it’s systems start to decline..There is a rally at 2pm sunday for seal people, if you want to be on the good side, but it is very hard to rallly for silence, for peace, for something that will be defeated by the simple act of playing frisbee on a beach.. 

    Rob Halpern

    Expanding on craig’s comment…


    Aside from what this thread reveals about our “culture of victimhood” (there is a whiff of “You think you’re a victim? No, I’m the victim!”) – which is just plain perverse — I can’t help noticing that BZGirl did not ask for help figuring out what to do about her status problem, but simply wanted to compare notes and perhaps get confirmation from other women that she is, indeed, a victim.

    What’s the point of that?

    Other than to develop a nice rationale for her ineffectiveness in the workplace, it seems rather counter-productive to me. I don’t doubt for a minute that her inexperience, gender and perhaps her profession are relegating her to a lower status. She already knows that. But she’s not interested in strategizing how to proceed, she just wants other women to support her conclusion.


    None of us can possibly help her figure out whether her performance problems are due to the prejudices of others or her own deficiencies. The stigma of being a L.A. and of being a woman aren’t going away. Changing jobs is not likely to eliminate those awful awful handicaps. Being under-experienced will resolve itself if she can stay in the field and learn and be productive. So BZGirl is going to have to learn to work with the situation if this is the work she wants to do. Just like every woman, every gay person, every person of color in this society has to. Does that mean simply accepting male-dismissal and female-competition? No, but it does require figuring out how she wants to work with it. Were I in her place in this economy I think I’d be more Solution-oriented than Rationale-oriented. Do I smell a job opening up in the near future?

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    …throw in a burka and you may have nailed it.

    BZ Girl

    But she’s not interested in strategizing how to proceed, she just wants other women to support her conclusion.


    In asking to hear about other’s experiences, i was intending to glean insight into how others have handled similar situations, and perhaps get a few new ideas on effective strategies. Sorry if i didn’t spell that out in the original post.


    I’m bothered that many responses thus far have portrayed me as a whining victim who is ‘creating a nice rationale for her ineffectiveness in the workplace.’ Nowhere have I said that i let this (real or perceived) issue stop me from doing what i needed to do. Per one of my earlier responses, i have found ways to work around it.  I agree with Heather, i don’t understand all the scowling angry responses to something that was simply intended as a discussion point. 


    Scowling and angry, get real maybe you and Heather are cut-out more for the tea party set. You know big hats and white gloves. Don’t go swimming with the sharks until you’re ready.


    Sisters are doing it for themselves. I’ll bet you won’t hear Hillary or Oprah feeling sorry for themselves, they eat chest pounding men for lunch. I have nothing but admiration for women who can handle their s__t.  Less whining and more girl power.

    Heather Smith

    You know what bothers me the most about the responses in this post is that someone can post the blanket statement that all women are backstabbers. Literally. Typed that. Can you imagine if I typed something similar and sweeping about gay men, black men or Asian men? I wouldn’t. Because I am not that type of person…and I don’t make sweeping generalizations about other groups. I suppose this is where I also become weak as a woman while simultaneously being aggressive. In this conversation I have been called aggressive and then BZ is considered a weak little girl. Yep, sounds about right. Thanks for joining together to show us which options we have.

    Love that you bring up Hillary as she has spoken about this before and been attacked for bringing it up:


    I am really curious…does everyone hear think women are backstabbers? Really? Because while this post would obviously be geared toward women I see a bunch of men attacking her for wanting some support. You all assumed she was complaining when at the end of her post she specifically asked for experiences to see if she was imagining this or not.

    If we were all in a room and you weren’t hiding behind your computer screen would you say to my face that all women are backstabbers intent on destroying everyone in her path…apparently feeding your nads to you?

    Of course discrimination exists. Sounds like the OP was shocked to find it still so obvious in 2011.


    Heather Smith

    I let Martha have the last word for me…

    “But Schwartz said that “the design school is a difficult place for woman designers to succeed.” Getting things done requires “force,” but “it’s damn unladylike to have an opinion to have an ego, it’s antithetical to get things done,” she said. “I’m a bit of a dancing bear.”


    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Stereotypes are all over the place, but I do not think that anyone who is honest with himself or herself can honestly say that (s)he has not worked with and/or for strong women and men, weak women and men, women with stereotypic behaviors and men with stereotypic behaviors, women who are back stabbers and men who are back stabber, women who go out of their way to help others be effective in their jobs even if some of those others are not that nice – and men who do the same, …..


    The discussion on this thread should, in my opinion, be about how to move past a problem. Craig is the only one who chimed in on how he successfully goes about it . It seems that he is content, successful, and self empowered through hard work and passing the problem off as not being his problem, but that of those who might want to make it his problem.  It seems like the logical path – go right through them or go around them.


    Oh Heather, just stop it already. You went from being a warrior that I praised for giving me inspiration to a wimp in a matter of weeks.


    I don’t think that women do any more backstabbing then men do. And I could careless if you made a sweeping generalization about gay, black or Asian men, I’ve got bigger fish to fry.  


    I was raised to be a strong man by a strong woman. I was also taught to be kind and loving by the same woman. I’ve got nothing but props for the women that use their brains and unrelenting drive to make to the top. I’ll go to war with that kind of a woman any day before I’d go with the average guy.


    Sorry – You’ve got no battle here sister.  

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