A Downward Trajectory?
I recently relocated from London to a small town in Scotland for work. The move is good for my career - I get to spend time on site and do practical engineering work as my new role is more field-based. Of course, I knew the move would complicate things in other ways - flying to Bangladesh from this place is a logistical nightmare, and trying to get visas to travel to other parts of the world is even worse. I've never actually lived in a small town, so part of me has been looking forward to the experience. But equally, I knew a place like this would have some downsides compared to the UK's more cosmopolitan capital. The posts I've published on the blog so far have mostly been positive, and so in a way I'm almost glad to be talking about something negative for a change.
The sexism was a little more elaborate, and involved a group of reasonably senior men on site discussing the attractiveness of women in the office, detailing what they liked or disliked about several individuals. I don't expect a male-only team (a sad but common engineering demographic) not to talk about women, but I wouldn't expect that talk to include women who are colleagues or the conversation to go into such physical minutiae while on the clock. I'd also like to say at this point that I have done site-based work previously, and I haven't encountered anything like any of these scenarios before. The trend on site seems to be something replicated in the town itself. A group of white teenagers decided to have a party at my apartment complex this weekend, and I walked through a bit of "Indian accent" banter on the way to my front door.
Of course, nothing that has happened so far is something that couldn't happen in London - in fact I've heard of people having similar experiences down there too. But what I describe here is my experience of Scotland as it currently stands, and if I'm being honest I have to say it's been a mixed experience. Nothing yet has happened that I can't deal with and I'm hoping it'll stay that way. In the meantime, I'm hoping to tactfully bring up some these occurrences at work, and perhaps this will bring about a little bit of awareness and positive change.