Throughout most of history, men were the primary decision-makers. Not because women were incapable but because women were held back from education, careers, and opportunities outside the home.
With women’s suffrage a little over 100 years ago and advances in equal rights, that’s changing. Women increasingly claim the breadwinner title, shattering glass ceilings in numerous industries, including finance, technology, and construction.
Still, a subset of men can’t fathom a capable woman. These men refuse to engage with women in business, talk down to them, and defer to their husbands (both real and imagined) on decision-making despite all the evidence that they can make their own decisions.
One woman came to Reddit to vent after experiencing yet another situation where her experience and expertise were questioned and devalued compared to her partner.
Seeking a Financial Advisor
The Original Poster (OP) works in finance, and her fiance does not. She’s the breadwinner and the driving force behind all the couple’s financial planning.
“The assets we have are because of my job, and fiancé has very little knowledge of financial planning and investing,” shared OP.
The couple sought a financial advisor to ensure they were on the same page with finances before marriage.
When they started the meeting, the male advisor asked them about their jobs, and that’s when the problems began.
“Right away, the advisor asked us our jobs, and then made a jab at me about why I need an advisor if I work in a similar field,” reported OP. “I just joked that even lawyers have lawyers.”
Things didn’t get better from there.
The Man Knows All
The financial advisor proceeded to ignore OP for most of the meeting, directing all his questions about their accounts to her fiance because clearly, the man in the couple would control all the finances, despite the knowledge that the woman works in the field, and her fiance does not.
At first, her fiance just paused, allowing OP to jump in and answer the questions. However, it got to the point where both were frustrated with the planner’s sexism.
“After this happening 3-4x, he kept telling the advisor to ask me since I’m the one who handles it,” said OP, adding that the advisor couldn’t wrap the idea of a lady handling finances around his head. “The advisor would talk to me, but then the next question would be directed back at my fiancé.”
Mansplaining Finances To an Industry Insider
It gets worse. The advisor finally decided to include OP in the conversation, but only in the most condescending way fathomable.
He decided to direct his explanations of simple financial concepts to OP.
“Now he starts to very simply and plainly explain to me what a brokerage account is, what investing is, how they use “these things called stocks and mutual funds” to grow our wealth,” she said, adding that he used very dumbed down language and specifically looked to her, ignoring her finance, during this portion of the meeting.
Not Hiring Him
OP and her fiance decided against this particular advisor for their financial planning needs, which was his fault.
Even after being told numerous times, he decided that OP’s credentials didn’t matter, that she wasn’t knowledgeable about finances and that her partner should make all the decisions. He destroyed his own chances of scoring a wealthy client because he couldn’t look past his own prejudices.
A frustrated OP vented to Reddit but wanted to know if others shared similar experiences. The women of Reddit came out in droves to share their stories.
A Siding Estimate
One woman said she attempted to get a siding estimate for her house and thought the price was too high. The contractor told her to talk with her husband, as he would better understand the cost. She’s a single homeowner.
Buying a Car
Many women had similar experiences while trying to buy a new car. The salesman automatically assumed the man had the final say.
One woman outlined her frustrating conversation, only to find it all too common.
“So you know it’s me buying the car, right?” she asked the dealer.
“So why are you talking to my husband? Do you think he decides what car I get?”
Some salesmen have the decency to apologize, while others continue to direct all questions towards the man. They typically don’t get the sale.
When one couple went to a store for a new laptop, the salesman treated the woman (who works in IT) as an accessory.
“I’d ask the man a question on specifications, and he’d turn around and give the answer to my husband. I’d ask another question, so he’d turn and face me to hear the question, then spin back around to give the answer to my husband,” she said.
The salesman would listen to her questions, then turn around and direct the answer to her husband as if she weren’t real.
An All Too Common Experience
The women of Reddit commiserated on the daily sexism they experienced, but that doesn’t make it less frustrating.
Women can handle their own finances, buy their own cars, determine which computer best meets their needs, and complete any other life task.
If men want to succeed in their businesses, they must accept women as valuable clients. With more women becoming breadwinners, single homeowners, and decision-makers, the men who refuse to engage with women in business will lose customers if they can’t treat their new client base as equals.