By KIM O’GRADY
This is how I discovered gender discrimination.
It was the late ’90s and I was at an interesting phase of my career. For the first time in my life I possessed relevant qualifications, experience and could also show a successful track record in my chosen career path.
I had the job seeker’s trifecta. It was also summer and my current employer was pissing me off with their penny-pinching ways, so after three years of ball busting effort I decided a break and a job change was in order. Displaying characteristic overconfidence in myself I quit my job (without burning any bridges) and set about applying for others.
I was experienced in managing technical & trade supply businesses. I also had engineering experience and sales experience and had demonstrably excelled at every sales and profit target I had ever been given. I started applying for roles that would stretch me and lift my career up a notch.
There were plenty of opportunities around and I usually had a few applications on the go at any one time. I was an experienced guy in an experienced guy’s world, this wouldn’t be hard.
Then the rejection letters trickled in. I could take rejection, it goes hand in hand with business, but after the first few months I was frankly confused. I hadn’t had a single interview.
Instead of aiming high I lowered my sights and started applying for jobs where there was no career advancement. Now I had everything these employers could possibly want, it would be a shoe in. But still not one interview came my way, not even a phone inquiry.