She ends by asking her readers:
How often are you the lone (fill in the blank)?
Before I was a mom, I was an engineer. More specifically, a mechanical engineer. More specifically, a manufacturing engineer. I truly enjoyed my job, and did it for about 10 years. But once the babies came along, the whole thing sort of lost its luster, and I hung up my factory toys when Chaco was 3 and Wolfgang was 18 months.
<-- Amy from "Big Bang Theory". She's awesome!
But during those years, and certainly during my time in college, I was often the lone female at meetings, on design teams, etc. I honestly didn't think about it that much. I suppose that growing up in a neighborhood full of boys had amply prepared me for my academic and professional lives.
And, I think it's safe to say, that the majority of the men I worked with had no problem with me either. I know it was awkward for a few at first, but once they got to know me, all was fine.
At the last place I worked, when I was a new-hire, I was assigned a "mentor" to work beside while he showed me the various ropes. He was older - in his early 60's - and close to retirement. We became very good friends. Later, he confessed to me, that when our boss told him that he would be training me, he "wanted nothing to do with it!". He confessed this to me at a company picnic, after he'd had a few beers. He went on to say what a blessing our working relationship had turned out to be, and I wholeheartedly agree.
For the younger guys, those closer to my own age, I never felt like it was an issue at all. We all worked side-by-side, not "genderless" by any means, but simply comfortable with each other. The whole "lone girl" thing would sometimes come up as just a fun aside.
I do remember one guy, though. I think he was just uncomfortable around women in general. He was mid-40's at the time. We were at a design meeting discussing certain components. Parts that fit together are often referred to as "male" and "female" for obvious reasons. This man stopped, mid-discussion, looked at me, the lone female, and asked, "Does it offend you that we refer to these as 'male' and 'female'?"
I almost wanted to laugh. I almost wanted to make some sarcastic p*nis/v*gina remark. In the end, I just assured him that no, I was not offended.
We're all just people. I included the pic of Amy (not a mech. engineer, she's a neurobiologist, but fits the stereotype just fine) from "Big Bang Theory" since, despite my disinterest in most of TV, I do enjoy that show. Probably because I can relate to all of the characters, and it makes me reminiscent of my working girl days. I'll end with an Amy quote:
"Sheldon, sometimes you forget, I'm a lady. And, with that comes an estrogen-fueled need to page through thick glossy magazines that make me hate my body."