A New York Times article titled “You’re Cute and Fired” highlighted the intimidation some men feel for attractive female coworkers. The article discussed several lawsuits of high level men firing attractive assistants because they felt her looks got int the way of work productivity.
A high school teacher forced to resign after bikini photos were found by the principal.
A yoga teacher fired from a chiropractic clinic because the male doctor was worried his wife might get jealous.
A dental assistant found to be “irresistible” by her male doctor.
This even spills into the realm of mentorship. Some men won’t mentor a female protégée for fear of workplace gossip. A friend of mine had a vicious rumor spread about her when she got admission into a competitive surgical residency. Some said she had slept with one of the attendings when she was medical student, because there was NO WAY a beautiful young woman was smart enough or skilled enough to get into this program. When she started the program, senior residents would taunt her and said that they couldn’t wait for her to work with another attending, Dr. Wong. He was notoriously mean, tough, and didn’t pay special attention to any attractive females. The joke was on them. Dr. Wong loved this resident because she WAS smart, and he was professional enough to not be distracted by her good looks.
I’ve had to deal with a lot of workplace annoyances simply because I’m female. After talking to many women at work, I’ve realized that we all have the same issues. The history of the healthcare industry’s growth is unique in it’s gender dynamics. Traditionally the doctor was male, and gave orders the the female nurse. Now, medical school admission rates have reached an equal 50/50, but the boys club still exists in many specialties. I’m here to tell you that it’s not going to be just the boys anymore, and I’m here to empower you.