One Young Financial Planner’s First Experiences With Workplace Inequality…Thanks For Sharing!
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Being fresh out of college, ambitious and eager to join the business world, I was naive to think that sexism does not exist in the workplace. I stayed with the same employer for seven years under a hostile work environment because I felt I had to be loyal because they were able to manipulate me in to thinking I was just lucky to be in the role I was in for being at the right place at the right time. In the meantime I endured sexual harassment where it was normal to hear I was a tall hot blonde and had to dress conservatively to avoid the constant glances toward my chest. I also endured a lot of verbal abuse. Some men in power need to feel stronger and superior by feeding off of the vulnerable. In this case, the managing director had mostly women underneath him which he used to take out his aggression when anything didn’t go his way. He fed off of my vulnerability when I was eight months pregnant hyperventilating and he continued his screaming because it made him feel powerful and he found a weak person to prey on. If I was not eight months pregnant, I would have walked out the door right then and there but I was trapped being so close to giving birth. Being in sales, I was given a % of revenue that came from my book of business. I thought I was so lucky making 6 figures in my 20’s. Then, after hiring a new male advisor it dawned on me that my payout was almost half of what they were giving to the new hire who happened to be male. And, the revenue I managed was more than twice the revenue the male advisor had. Regardless, this advisor had his own relationship manager to himself. I had one relationship manager and when she left the company it was just me and I had to fight with the male advisor to be able to utilize his relationship manager’s time. When I brought up the payout discrepancy to the managing director, he actually said “You’re right. You’ve been working at a discount for a long time now so we should increase it so you are compensated the same as other advisors.” SERIOUSLY???!?!!!? Did he really just admit that I had been working at a discount for the past 5 years when I was promoted to advisor??? While my compensation was scheduled to double they also asked me to sign a non-compete contract. I attempted to negotiate this contract because as an advisor I truly feel my clients are my clients. Not the company!! The company did not see it that way and my managing director was not willing to give me any ownership of the clients. This was the final straw for me after all I had endured and based on the reputation I built in my industry I had many great opportunities. Now I am in a much better place. However, I did receive disturbing news today. A new male advisor was hired to take over my role. His payout is much higher than mine and they agreed to waive the non-compete for this MALE advisor. (I was told there is absolutely no way to do this!) Sexism is real and sadly it still exists today. We need to unite and make changes. I have two young daughters and I will do everything I can to help make changes for when they have to enter the workplace. Sadly, corporate offices will look the other way as long as the person in the wrong is bringing them revenue. There should be fines and penalties for violations.