Whether it’s a tough boss or a terrible client, we all have elements in our workspace that make doing our jobs harder than it ought to be. These 7 Nigerian women share the toughest challenges they face at work.
Naomi, Managing Editor
Attending to passive-aggressive actions of misogynistic male colleagues. These actions could range from putting up walls, holding back information, not communicating and dropping official complaints about things that can be easily cleared. Also, having to work when I suffer from extreme PMS. Currently disoriented and in a lot of pain after three days of fever because of those damn eggs. But imagine taking sick leaves every month.
I constantly have to deal with clients and co-workers who make assumptions of my competency based on my gender. They’d make remarks like “wetin woman sabi about land and property?” They see me as a pawn for closing pending deals. The worst one is the assumption that I must sleep with clients to get them to buy or invest in properties.
Kachi, Customer care
I have to deal with inappropriate customers all the time. They’d come to the building and flirt outrageously with me, and I’d have to be courteous or risk losing my job. I try to give my biggest customer-friendly smile as they yarn dust. One particular man who frequents the building disturbed me so much for my number that I just gave him so he’d leave me alone. Worst mistake ever. He would incessantly call me at odd hours trying to get me to hang out. It became so bad that I was convinced within me that he felt I was owing him money. For whatever reason, he stopped and I was very relieved. Another challenge I face at work is the lack of opportunities to grow. I work at the front desk, and there aren’t a lot of options open for career growth.
Onyi, Online Vendor
I am small and young, so I constantly deal with people disrespecting me. It’s like they see me and think, who is this small girl and why does she feel she can make this money? Sometimes, men would DM me and insist on meeting me before patronising me. I had to make up a payment plan where people can pay without seeing my name, just my business name.
Rosemary, Administrative staff at a construction company
I am the youngest and the only female in my office. My boss is a 60-year-old man who is dipped in the blood of misogyny. Whenever I try to explain myself, he will literally shut me up with, “Young woman, don’t argue.” Even when I’m right. Funny thing is, he doesn’t do this with the other staff; he actually listens to them. They do not assign me fieldwork even though I am competent. I’m just in this office like a housewife. Currently fighting for an opportunity to do fieldwork.
Dami, Digital marketer
I use social media a lot and the nature of my job requires that my DM is always open to all. Problem is men want to patronise me so they can get my personal number. They send me unsolicited pictures, but I have to be professional and maintain a balance so I don’t come off as rude to potential customers. But I always try my best to set them straight.
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