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Woman of color teaches boss who told her to 'put more effort into her appearance' a lesson in humility

The employee's actions made the boss regret her unsolicited advice.

Woman of color teaches boss who told her to 'put more effort into her appearance' a lesson in humility
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Emmy E; Reddit | u/Fuzzy_Concepts_4606

Feedback and advice from your seniors and peers are necessary to grow professionally. But what if the advice is out of line? u/Fuzzy_Concept_4606, in her mid-20s, stepped up for herself brilliantly when she received such unbefitting advice from her senior. She explained that she is a woman of color who works in science consulting. She started working at the firm after graduation and most of her peers have either an MS or PhD. The degrees are not crucial for the job, but it puts her at a certain disadvantage.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Monstera Production
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Monstera Production

"It is a bizarre situation as I am given much more responsibility than many people who are older, more educated, and higher in the company than me; management clearly does not want someone who looks like me to be a leader at the company, but they give me the responsibilities of someone higher-up without the title and compensation," the woman shared. She expressed that people at her company have given her several reasons as to why she's not getting promoted despite being given more responsibilities than the others.

She further added that before she received her much-deserved promotion for which she had to work for more than two years, her previous supervisor, also a woman of color but having a PhD, told her that she was being discriminated against others based on her age, gender, and lack of education. The woman added, "Although my work product was 'perfect,' she said that I was being judged on how I 'appeared at first' and 'interacted with coworkers' (even though I have friendly relationships with all colleagues, she likely meant that I was too outgoing). She said she wanted to perform an 'experiment' with me. She said that maybe I would be promoted if I started putting more effort into my appearance."

The woman revealed that she was confident with her appearance but decided to teach the boss a powerful lesson. "I went from business casual attire that was the standard at my office to full-on business attire. I also never wore makeup to work and wore a full face of makeup every day for months. My pastel-colored pantsuit really caught peoples' attention, and people would continually ask, 'Are you going somewhere with a client?' I would always reply, 'No. I received feedback that I need to put more effort into my appearance.' That shut everybody up real quick." Within a week, the supervisor apologized to the woman, who got a promotion a few months later.

The way the employee stood up for themself garnered praise from others. u/AppropraiteRip9996 commented, "That is wild. I've never been told that. Perfectly handled though. I was a teacher for years and I got a new job that I showed up at with a tie and button shirt. I was the only one with a tie. I felt comfortable in it. My boss' boss said I looked nice. Before you know it, two people showed up, one on either side and they said, 'Nice tie. if you ever wear it again, we will deal with it with scissors and cut it right off.' I stopped wearing ties. Also, I showed up to interview for a dishwashing job in a full suit. I got the job, but the jokes about it continued for a year. I have an IT job and I wear casual clothes, usually pants and button shirts, but I remember 15 to 20 years ago I used to come in with a T-shirt and shorts. I can't imagine doing that today even though I have the same title."

Image Source: Reddit | u/JustKimNotKimberly
Image Source: Reddit | u/JustKimNotKimberly
Image Source: Reddit | u/mocha_lattes_
Image Source: Reddit | u/mocha_lattes_

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