Yes, our world is still sexist.

This morning, I posted a job on Freelancer.

Occasionally I delegate work to others when I’m occupied with various tasks. I also posted the job on Elance to compare responses and quotes. I left my computer for about 10 minutes and came back with a bowl of All-Bran and a heart full of expectations.

I was pleased to find a decent number of people bidding on the projects. As I scanned the list to make my shortlist of applicants, I was appalled at the number of people beginning their inquiries with “Dear Sir.”

Usually I would disregard it and move on, but this time it struck me. Exactly what was it that made these people assume they were dealing with a male?

I took a closer look and noticed many of these type of responses were from individuals in places like Pakistan and other parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, whereas responses from individuals in America, England and other parts of the west were more along the lines of “Dear Sir/Madam” or the more neutral, “Dear Hiring Manager.”

It struck me pretty hard. Most of our world still assumes that anything related to business, hiring and the like is probably a male, and it doesn’t cross their minds for a second that the person behind that grey face on an online platform could possibly be a woman.

So now, I’m sitting here, munching my cereal and feeling thankful that I was born where I was.

I just can’t help but wonder when things are going to change on the other side of the world. There is definitely a need for more awareness of women’s rights and capabilities in the workplace. 



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Steven Lemon says:

    In defense of those who begin their correspondence with “Dear Sir”, I would point out that most American business schools TAUGHT that business correspondence were addressed that way, so it is not just a Pakistani problem.

    So what if the WORLD is sexist? As individuals we don’t live in the world, we live in a local area. We can never change the whole world, so we would do better by working to change the attitudes in the are in which we live.

    the REASON people still address message that way is because they have a 90% chance of being RIGHT. If more women were business owners it would change in a heartbeat because the last thing a client or a business wants to do is offend or alienate a business contact.

    The problem is, we don’t see enough minorities in the boardrooms and on the financial networks as owners, movers and shakers.

    Until that situation changes not much else will.
    Using first names is no guarantee either. The first time I saw it written that somebody named SHAQUILLE was seven feet tall I thought, “Man that is one tall woman!”

    I’m SO glad I didn’t say it to his face.


    1. Kim-Lee (Your Writing Lady) says:

      Thanks for your point of view Steven! For sure, if more women own businesses, it would help. No one can change the whole world, that will never happen.

      I still feel there is no need to assume. Should we assume all business owners are White because there aren’t enough Black entrepreneurs? Would it be equally okay for inquiries to be started with “Dear Madam” where the world to swing to a direction where more women owned businesses than men?

      This isn’t to argue, but just to look at the situation from all angles.

      Lol at the Shaquille situation. I can see that happening 😀


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