Write about a challenge you faced and overcame

Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

As a woman working in the male-dominated tech industry, the days in which somebody treats me with dignity is rare. Most of my working days ensue endless gaslighting and men overriding my decisions and opinions because their voice is considered much stronger than a woman’s feeble voice. In the past two years, such treatment nibbled away the remaining bit of confidence I had after a decade long career in the tech industry. When I was going through that phase, I thought this is due to my lack of assertiveness. But in retrospect, I recognize such incidents for their subtle sexism and their damaging effect in my career. It would have been evident to me if I had a mentor who cared about me in a genuine way. I missed that and I am paying the price for it now.

It took me a lot of time to figure out my feelings and situation. By this time, there were a couple of panic attacks and sleep has completely gone from my life. I lost the will to continue in this career. Even though at first I decided to switch to another company with better pay and title, I understood that this is not going to change anything. The world is yet to catch up on equality of opportunity and it will continue to reward men. Maybe the next generation will have it better and for that, we need women at the decision-making table, not just as tokens for DEI initiatives. After a lot of thinking and gauging the pros and cons, I came to the decision of taking a break from my career. If I need to continue in this career, I have to be strong. I need a recovery period for that. It was not an easy decision to take as I am the only earning member in the family. Still, I saved up money prior to the decision and it gave me peace of mind.

I can say that I overcame the hopelessness during the months that lead me to this decision. Maybe a few months of break is not going to change anything for me. But for now, the most important thing for me is to work on myself and be ready for the next opportunity that comes my way. It is a long journey and there is no clarity on the destination. The only thing I know is that I am glad that I started with this journey rather than deciding to stay miserable and suffer.

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