A little bit of background on me: I have a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science. The programming portion has always been relatively easier for me, it wasn’t an ‘easy’ degree to get but it was the natural choice for me to take. When I graduated from university I didn’t know what I wanted for myself. I got a job as a programmer and I HATED it. I eventually quit because I just couldn’t do it for the rest of my life. I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. Would I go back to school and learn something else? Would I get a job somewhere? I started to explore my options and applied around to contracting services figuring I’d be exposed to a variety of companies. I got a job as an admin covering a maternity leave at the company where I still work.
While I was an admin, I discovered that it is not the career for me because I don’t have the patience. After my term was up they kept me on contract and I still did admin-type work and a little bit of analyst work. I was eventually hired on as an analyst and they used me to automate a lot of their manual processes and I discovered that is what I enjoy doing. Unfortunately, I had problems with my boss and I was still treated like an admin and my experience and skills were not valued.
I eventually got a new position in my company and I thought it was great. Sure, I am one of 2 non-engineers in an engineering department but I was going to be learning some very valuable processes for our company and eventually take them over. Great! I was going to have a boss that treated me like I have something to contribute AND they hired me because my skills and background contribute greatly to the department.
Perhaps that is still the case, but this week I overheard my boss tell another manager that he has 2 employees in his department without degrees, me being one of them. EXCUSE ME!?!? Did I just pay to hang out at university for 5 years for fun? Did I take Operating Systems with a crazy hard professor just because I like to torture myself? Did you not hire me partly because I could automate and improve processes in the department? Did I not do some work with your department BEFORE you hired me because you needed my computer skills?
This is my glass ceiling. My company values engineers above all. Every job posting pretty much implies “if you aren’t an engineer, don’t apply”. Perhaps my boss meant to say that 2 of us don’t have engineering degrees but he definitely did not say that. I have some other friends who are not engineers as well and we all feel like the company treats us like we have no post secondary education.
Can I really stay working at a company where I probably cannot get ahead? Not because of my gender but because after my name I have a B.Sc. (Comp Sci) instead of a B. Sc. (Eng)?