Maggie, I have a friend who works at a place that changed presidents about a year ago. The new one is male; the old one was male. The previous one was more experienced, and also older than the new president and more “set in his ways.”

And yet…

She has seen her workplace slowly change from gender-neutral to one where it’s okay to put down women, in many forms. “I never really understood what micro-aggressions were until I was subjected to them almost daily. I never noticed that I had a voice in daily operations until it was no longer noticed — until it was taken from me.”

Senior administration is mostly the same as before. But all the turnover has been to male replacements. A female assistant vice president filled in for almost a year when her boss retired, then was never even discussed as a possibility to take the job permanently; the job was given to a male hired from outside.

My friend never felt that there was any effort to “make women equal” under the old president, but somehow they were. She can’t point to any single event to “push women down,” but that’s what has happened under the new president.

And in a few months she will be taking retirement after fifteen years there. If they have any questions after she leaves, they can drop her an email, because she plans to block their phone numbers.

I think your trail experience is the new normal. Alas.

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Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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