Is this just "jobs for the boys" or do I have a legitimate employment gripe worthy of lawyering up?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I work for a large company in Queensland, Australia, as a middle manager.
A year ago, the position directly above mine became available unexpectedly and I filled in for the higher role for four months with hope I would be hired permanently (at no extra pay - although the higher position does pay more, I felt it might adversely affect my employment chances if I asked for the money).
The position was advertised, I applied, was interviewed, and was told I did not get the job because I did not have sufficient leadership experience or training, although my other skills in the job were sound. The manager told me I was "second choice" and would have been hired except the person they chose had 20 years more experience than me. In the past year, I have regularly filled in for the position when the man they hired then was on leave, and have been praised for several key projects.
All this was fair enough. So I repeatedly requested leadership, management and other training to enable me to fulfill the top job should the position become available, which has not been provided despite assurances.
But last week, the person they hired last year for that role was "moved to a different role" (ie, demoted to another position and office), and it was announced that a new person had already been hired for the top job.
I was not given an opportunity to apply, and the position was not advertised - it was simply announced that our former competitor would be our new boss.
He has come from a company with a significantly smaller product output than ours, and is not trained in any of our IT systems, however my manager has praised his "business connections" (this is not a sales role BTW so "connections" are certainly not the be-all and end-all).
When I asked, the manager told me I still did not have the leadership skills required to take over our office, which is in a delicate situation (not doing well at all, due to a multitude of factors, one of which led to the removal of the former head), but I would be recommended for the top role in a different office.
The *new* person they have hired is close friends with the manager, and regularly is seen out and about with him and one of the other seniors in our office (call her X). The manager really values being able to socialise - play cricket, golf etc, with his staff and business contacts. I'm not a sporting type but I am good at my job and absolutely dedicated to the company, representing it unpaid at community and business events, off my own back.
As I am married, female, in my 30s and thus far child-free, I am starting to question whether there's something more to it - at our recent Christmas party, X asked me several times when my husband and I were planning on having children, and I stupidly said I wasn't sure but I liked the idea - it's just that my career has always come first.
While I have been very loyal to the company for many years, I am starting to question how much I am valued given I have been passed over twice, and never given a concrete reason why except that I am "not a strong enough leader", or given any training to address that issue.
I feel pretty hard done by, as I have regularly requested the training, and also because I have the support of my team.
There is nothing else out there in my specialist field - about 1/5 of my industry has been laid off in the past few years but I have always believed I've got a good career path with my company. Clearly, I don't.
FWIW - the original person hired above me and I got on really well, and he actually recommended I look into my legal options after he was demoted, as he'd recommended me for his job and told the manager "I can't believe you hired me instead of her in the first place"...
Is it worth consulting a lawyer, or should I just chalk it up to "jobs for the boys" and just continue to look for other work? Even without the "baby factor"... this hiring decision just seems plain fishy.