Over the holidays, I had the opportunity to interview with a huge, cyber-security company called Comodo. You may have of it. They are number one in computer safety right now. I was honored to interview for a content writer position. I flew all the way to New Jersey from Atlanta, rented a car, and made my way to the beautiful company building. I did all of this on my own dime, which is not cheap.
I ultimately left, knowing I would not receive a job offer. Let me tell you why it upset me. It wasn’t because I spent a bunch of money to go there and attend the interview. I’m sure that happens to a lot of people. It wasn’t because they didn’t offer me any coffee, even though it was freezing outside, and my hands felt like they were going to fall off. It wasn’t my feet hurt from standing in those high heels. It was because there was clearly sexism at play.
First off, if you look at Comodo’s chain of command, there are only two women on the page. TWO! And they are in charge of marketing, not cyber-security. Also, reviews on Glassdoor explain that the hiring manager talks down to his female employees often. That should have been a red flag to me, but I remained optimistic. I still took my ass to that interview.
When I was greeted by the hiring manager, I gave him another copy of my resume. It was clear he didn’t look at it the first time. He had no idea what my degree was in. He only called me in because he saw that I went to USF, and he has faculty friends at that school. He constantly referred to me as a poet, instead of a writer. Let me make things clear mister! Yes, I write poetry. I also write fiction, proposals, technical manuals, and business plans! I am a versatile writer! I received my degree in PROFESSIONAL AND TECHNICAL WRITING! NOT POETRY!
I brought him my portfolio, and he did not even open it. He spoke slowly when he was talking to me as if I did not understand him, even though I am very fluent in technical language, which he would know if he took a look at my skills section on my resume.
To top things off, during the tour of the building, he introduced me to another manager as a woman with no experience. His exact words were, “This is Amber. She doesn’t really have experience, but she’s hoping to get her foot in door in writing.” Wrong! I have five years’ experience in content heavy roles. That was embarrassing.
To say that was the worst interview of my life, would be an understatement. I know that some people believe that sexism is in the past, but it is not. It happens more than you think. I have experienced it first hand, and I’m telling you that we have to fight harder to end it. We can’t accept lower salaries. We can’t accept being belittled by our male bosses. We can’t accept taking responsibility for our sexist coworkers. It ends now.