How comfortable are you with having a black woman boss?
Criticism from women hits harder in the workplace
I should have gone with my gut instinct. I knew something was off after the mock interview ended, but I ignored that part of my brain and hired him anyway. White, older than me and with a wealth of experience, he seemed like the perfect hire for a new team of writers. His resume was impeccable. His background was top-notch. I was quite proud of my new hire. Even during the mock interview to observe his interviewing style, I kept thinking, “We have a winner!” I hired him.
Then the interview was completed and the offer was sent. Not even two minutes afterward, he started using words like “tough” to describe me. I raised an eyebrow. While I was discussing the company background and work needed, he redirected to analyzing my personality. I didn’t know him personally nor professionally before that interview. I asked where this descriptor came from. He told me he’d read prior reviews that I’d given to other freelancers. I went back through my reviews and theirs, reading them word-by-word, still agreeing with every word I typed and agreeing with theirs too (including a few critiques). I never saw the word “tough.”
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He changed his tune to saying he was “tough too.” I politely explained that I’ve always been someone to give pros and cons in any review. I don’t give five-star reviews unless I really think the work is perfect. Same for Yelp. If I give a five-star review, that person earned it. It’s part of being a Toastmaster, where you’re trained to look for the best parts of a speech and then areas of improvement. But “tough”? More like “honest.”