A man who posed as his female colleague over email has said the experience taught him it is “impossible” for professional women to get the respect they deserve.
Martin Schneider was 25 and working for a career services firm in Pennsylvania when he found himself dealing with a “rude” and “dismissive” client.
He realised – due to shared inbox – that he had been signing off his emails as co-worker, Nicole Hallberg.
“It was Nicole he was being rude to, not me. So out of curiosity I said ‘Hey this is Martin, I’m taking over this project for Nicole,’ Schneider said in a Twitter thread.
Apparently there was an “immediate improvement” with the client’s behaviour – despite the same techniques and advice.
As a man, Schneider received a positive reception and the client thanked Schneider for suggestions and responded promptly.
“The only difference was that I had a man’s name now,” he said.
As an experiment, the pair continued to switch names on their email signatures for two weeks.
"I signed all client emails as Nicole. She signed as me...I was in hell. Everything I asked or suggested was questioned. Clients I could do in my sleep were condescending. One asked if I was single," Schneider said.