This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.
I’ve partnered with Olay today to share how to overcome bias in the workplace. Olay is a brand that celebrates women and female pilots who break boundaries to rise above and live fearlessly. I’m thankful to share my story with you!
As a young business woman, I’ve always had to deal with bias in a workplace environment. Bias is everywhere, but most often affects women and younger employees. I was both of those things. I’ve gotten, “aren’t you a little too young for this?” more times than I can count.
I remember when I got my first promotion at my first job when I was in high school. I was the youngest employee promoted to customer service. The rest of my co-workers in customer service were in their mid-40’s to 50’s, and everyone seemed to question why I was promoted “so young.”
I would often experience helping a customer, provide them with all of the correct answers to their questions, and then watch them walk away and ask an older employee the same questions, just to make sure I had given them the correct information.
Later in life, before I became a full-time blogger, I worked in the real estate industry. Luckily, I had a boss that truly believed in me and my abilities and always stood up for me. She was my biggest advocate, and always reminded clients that they didn’t have to go to her for answers when “Tonya can answer all of your questions for you.” I really appreciate that. I believe that teamwork in a work environment is very important and I was lucky to have it for my last job, my others I wasn’t so lucky.
The biggest takeaway from my experience as a young woman in the workforce is that you can’t take things too personally. Naturally, people want their answers validated and will gravitate toward what they believe is an authority figure to get those answers validated. I always tried to be the best employee I possibly could, and when I didn’t know the answer to a question, I found out that answer for the customer.
Age is just a number. Just because you may be older or younger than someone, does not make you smarter or more equipped to do the job than they can. Focus on your strengths and build off of them. Everyone has different skill sets. Use them to your advantage!
Never let someone’s attitude affect yours, I could have easily been defeated in any of the situations where this happened over and over to me. BUT I didn’t – I stayed professional and proved myself, which I will always do. I know sometimes it’s easier said than done but in the end, not letting someone affect you, will make you stronger.
Have you had a similar experience? Share below! I would love to hear how you overcame it as well. We are learning more and more to stand up and speak for ourselves – I could not be more proud.
xx, Tonya Michelle