First, let me say that I am not defending this kind of behavior.
I have seen this in many fields. How many of us have been in an
auto dealership and seen a couple come in and the salesman
direct every answer to the man? Even when it is the woman
asking the question. I had a friend whose wife was looking for
a new car. They were meeting at the dealer, and she got there
first. The salesmen ignored her until her husband arrived, and
then they were willing to assist. On the other hand, I know
a couple of guys who have tried to buy sewing machines and
were as much as told that they should check with their wives
before they bring home the wrong one.
Stereotyping is a dangerous thing. Unfortunately, engineering
and prototyping has fallen into the same trap that many other
Too many sales people wrongly assume that the "little woman"
is only there because she doesn't want to get lost in the
big city. There must be a concerted effort by sales departments
in all companies to learn that engineering is not the male
dominated field it once was. Women engineers and buyers need
to help this along by telling the salesmen (I am using salesmen
here because it is primarily the men that ignore the women)
that they are the ones interested in the product. As someone
else said, you can let the salespeople know with your purchase
order. Let them know that because of their attitude, you are
going to take your purchase elsewhere.
Let's hope that with the new millennium we can shuck the
stereotyping. A good place to start is in the RP field. We
should never have allowed it to go this far.
-- Doug Mitchell email@example.com Ford Motor Company Voice - (313)594-4360 Fax - (313)248-5174
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