I was reading the article over on the mainpage about the controversy Time managed to stir up with its "Gods of Food" article (could they have a sillier title? Really?). Time, of course, identified only male chefs and so the question is why? And it came back to the age-old question of whether or not there is sexism inherent in the profession, and if so, why. One of the first female chefs to respond to the article said, no, there actually isn't sexism in the profession, and Time managed to answer that by finding facts and figures on the numbers of female chefs, and the numbers actually look pretty good. So what's the deal?
And I remembered a conversation I had with a senior female colleague in my college. Self-promotion. We, as women, seem to be notoriously bad at it. Why do we seem to be so reluctant to sing our own praises when we are damned good at something? Men certainly don't have any shame about telling everybody about how great they are (even when they aren't so great). My colleague noted, very astutely, that our male colleagues wanted a ticker tape parade for every little thing they did and had no problem calling attention to every tiny accomplishment, no matter how minor. Yet our female colleagues could accomplish great things and not tell anyone, thinking that eventually good work would just get noticed and good things come to those who wait, I guess. Except in the real world, they don't.
Are we just conditioned that it's bad form for nice young women to call attention to themselves? I think we may be. And I think that's why in some professions, we fall behind. Not because there's less of us, not because we do less work or work at a lesser level, but because we don't promote our own work enough. WE DON'T BRAG. Ladies, we have to start bragging on ourselves! Make sure people know about your good work. Share it. Don't be ashamed to talk yourself up. Who else will?