Boss is treating me like his personal assistant - how to deal?
June 17, 2014 10:29 AM Subscribe
I'm a woman who works in a very male-dominated profession as a specialist in a scientific/engineering discipline. In my workplace, about 95% of the people with my role are men, and most of the women there besides me are admin. However, there is a huge shortage of admin support and we end up doing most of our own admin ourselves. My boss, though, seems to think he has found a "solution" to this - he just asks me to do his admin. And then he gets annoyed with me if I don't do it.
posted by hazyjane to Work & Money (41 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I have already taken my boss aside and asked him why he was giving me all the admin tasks and none to the guys on the team. He pointed out that he had given one, very small, admin task to the new guy on the team. He admitted not giving any to the other two guys because one of them is difficult to communicate with and the other is being groomed for management. I said that I didn't feel it was right for me to be doing 95+% of the admin just because I'm fairly easy-going and that I needed development opportunities too. He admitted I had a point and got better about it for a while. Now about a month on from our discussion he seems to have fallen back into his old habits.
Today we were going over the work program and he said that he wanted me to be the point of contact for the biannual meetings we have. That means I'm going to be ordering the lunches, making sure people have hotel rooms booked, printing out all the handouts, etc. etc. I suggested that, instead, I lead on one of the two meetings and also do all the admin for it, and he lead on the other and do the admin for that. He said no, he is going to lead both meetings because he set them up originally and that basically he is the "star" of those meetings. He then said that maybe in 2-3 years we can transition to me leading one of the meetings.
So what do I do? Generally he and I get along well and, generally, he has been an advocate for me with upper management. He is usually pretty fair apart from the admin stuff, and he gives me good reviews. So do I just give up and do the admin? I could try to take the attitude that I'm making $100k+ to run off copies so more fool him, but I generally just end up fuming. Or I could refuse and bring him up on it every time, but that would turn him into an enemy rather than an ally. I don't think this merits getting HR involved at this point - I'm positive they would have my back on this, but again, I don't want to make an enemy.