Episode 43: Navigating expectations

June 30, 2014

“There’s the element of you walk into the room and you feel automatically crossed off the list. Someone is surprised at how you appear, they’re kind of taken aback. The interview’s really short, they don’t ask you a lot of questions." - Hannah Winsten

"In my 40 years as a man in the business world, I did not know failure...Suddenly I transition, and my instinct is to open businesses...which is what I attempted to do initially. And suddenly I wasn’t as successful as I was before.” - Lisa Scheps 

What happens when you're a woman at work who doesn't look traditionally feminine? We meet a couple of young women who know what it’s like to look for a job when you don’t match society's expectations of 'female'. And when you’ve had experience working as both genders, you have a unique perspective on the workplace. We meet Lisa Scheps, who had great success when she presented herself as a male entrepreneur, but as a woman in the workplace, her career has stalled. 17 minutes.

Libby Mathewson and Hannah WinstenFurther reading: When It Doesn't Pay to Wear the Pants by Hannah Winsten.

Kristen Schilt is a professor of sociology at the University of Chicago.

Lisa Scheps is co-founder of the Transgender Education Network of Texas.

The Human Rights Campaign published a report last year on transgender people's employment status.



Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.


This time on the show, if a woman doesn’t present herself the way other people expect her to, the job hunt can be tough…

“We just don’t really think you’d mesh well here, it just doesn’t feel like the right chemistry,’ – these really vague kind of terms that are, like, ‘You make me uncomfortable, so we’re not going to bring you here.’”

And on the last show we heard about transgender men’s experiences at work – and how many of them have an easier time at the office after leaving their female days behind. This time, we hear from a trans woman…

I’ve talked to trans men as well and they say oh my God, no one questions what I say any more. And I got the opposite thing. So suddenly everything I say is just questioned.

Coming up on The Broad Experience.


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Episode 42: The outsider within: transgender in the workplace

June 15, 2014

"As a male creative director I started to notice differences in the way women were treated. But when I was a woman I didn’t really notice, and I figured, oh well, it’s probably because I’m junior – maybe that’s why I’m being treated that way.” - Chris Edwards

"One of the guys applied for this high tech job as a woman, didn’t get the job, re-applied three months later after he transitioned, with a different name, and then got hired." - Kristen Schilt

Kristen SchiltSociologist Kristen Schilt spent years researching transgender men's experiences at work. What does that have to do with women and the workplace? A lot, it turns out. After all, these guys began their working lives presenting themselves as female. Then they transitioned, and suddenly, work was a whole different place. Despite having the same abilities, they suddenly had more authority. Colleagues assumed they were more competent. Sometimes they even landed jobs they couldn't get before. 21 minutes.

Chris EdwardsFurther reading: Kristen Schilt is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. The Clayman Institute for Gender Research has more on her research on transgender men here, including a video of Kristen talking about some of her findings.

Chris Edwards writes about transgender issues for The Huffington Post.

I found out about Kristen's work through Anne Loehr, a leadership coach in Washington, DC. She writes about the workplace for The Huffington Post.



Welcome to The Broad Experience, the show about women, the workplace, and success. I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte.

This time on the show, what can we learn about attitudes to women in the workplace from people who have experienced work as both genders?                 

Read More