My feed

to access all these features


AIBU to be sick of privileged, older white men - join my tiny rant!

430 replies

windygallows · 04/11/2018 10:29

Yup I'm probably unreasonable but I just want to put out there how sick I am of working with privileged, older white men - 40 plus and often 'posh'.

They dominate the upper echelons of the organization I work in as well as all the organizations I liaise with. Some are very good but many aren't due their seniority nor are they that smart - but they are well spoken and confident so whatever they say comes across as read. Their smuggery is driven by their high self regard and knowledge that they are 'where they belong'.

And despite their seniority they are often mollycoddled and supported by (usually female) PAs and completely enabled by wives at home who have been supporting them for 20+ years to the point that they take all the support for granted. They are so enabled that all they have to do is go to work and everything else is sorted for them - it's kind of a carefree oblivion they hold and thus they are completely oblivious to the challenges that others (e.g. women) face in their day to day lives.

I see this male privilege everywhere and everyday. In my boss who is completely self absorbed and with a family set up that enables and supports the fact that he is Number one. In other work scenarios, like when I was interviewed last week by a panel of important men + one woman from HR brought in to balance out the panel. I see 'important white men' driving fast in their cars, beeping up behind me in the fast lane as they need to go to their important meeting. Male privilege is everywhere and am sick of it.

From age 50 (my age) the number of women in the workforce starts to drop significantly and I'm wondering if it's because they're just sick of working with the men I describe!

I can't be the only person to feel this way. Please join me in this tiny rant!

OP posts:
pollymere · 05/11/2018 19:45

I used to work with a lovely guy who superficially matches your description. He used to be sad that he would not be considered for projects, promotion etc because of positive discrimination. Many of these men have worked ludicrously hard to get where they are, and have no time to see their families. Whilst some may deserve contempt, many deserve respect. I'm not in that environment because I chose to give it up to do something I enjoyed and have a family. Many of those men won't have been able to consider doing something else.

OlennasWimple · 05/11/2018 19:52

I'm in my mid 40s and I look around my social circle, and whereas 10 years ago it was stuffed with bright, ambitious women who were winning industry awards and getting promoted left, right and centre, now so many of them have fallen into the "mummy track" of a not particularly brilliant job but with flexible working, or have given up work altogether (particularly if they have 3+ children). It's bloody depressing

toxic44 · 05/11/2018 19:52

OK, I'm playing Devil's Advocate here. From what I've seen, many of these men don't get the home support one might think. Their 50-something wives think they have been very clever to get a man who earns a handsome salary and leaves them to their own devices all day. The women enjoy expensive holidays, 'status' life styles and the secure knowledge of a considerable works pension when he retires. Lots of these guys don't survive a year after retirement and, as one woman said to me, 'I've been quite comfortable since X went. Men do so get under one's feet, you know.' I know what a bore these men can be to work for but not even their wives mourn them which is pretty poor for the financial security they've provided.

Downtheroadfirstonleft · 05/11/2018 20:03

Some ridiculous generalisations there OP. I assume you are trolling...

cheminotte · 05/11/2018 20:56

Not feeling sorry for those men polly - they could choose to leave work earlier etc, or turn down the promotion with too much travel. Plenty of women do, and yes it does affect their career but you can’t have it both ways.

TheSmallClangerWhistlesAgain · 05/11/2018 21:11

The positive discrimination polly talks about certainly does not exist in my organisation. It's mediocre clubbable men over other staff with talent and integrity every time.

It boils my piss that said mediocre clubbable senior men then get PAs fussing over them because someone so terribly dynamic and clever can't organise himself to get his own lunch or even make a phone call because he's so so busy and put-upon and dynamic and clever.

Meanwhile, the rest of us, male and female, have to organise our own stops for eating, drinking and going to the toilet, as well as making necessary phone calls and answering radio calls, in the lulls we get between activity, if any. Even though we aren't half as talented or driven as Mr Mediocre in the upstairs office.

Sara107 · 05/11/2018 21:15

I haven’t rtft. But, what I have observed in over 20 years in a FTSe 100 company is that things are changing (but it is a company with a specific commitment to work life balance for all). 20 years ago the management was very largely male, and the ones I know personally had, without exception, wives who had given up their careers to raise the family, travel for expat assignments etc. Many met in university but the husband got the career and the wife got the supporting role. Of the few women who were in senior roles, they had husbands who had taken the career back seat to enable her career. Now there are many more women in senior roles, and the company does promote more equality in terms of time off. In the last few years I have noticed more men taking extended paternity leave, and opting for part time working. I think this sort of cultural change takes many years and a lot of support from the top of the organisation down.

yummumto3girls · 05/11/2018 21:16

Agree with you OP, I work in a uniformed public sector organisation who are working very hard to be inclusive of women, however 95% of the higher echelons are white men who aren’t actually very good at their jobs!

ladypenelopeepee · 05/11/2018 21:35

Completely agree.

I left corporate land a few years ago after I couldn't tolerate my lovely but utterly useless director. He was the king of networking and had certainly reached his position by charm and not ability.

thehorseandhisboy · 05/11/2018 21:54

If only it were as simple as that Romany. Both men and women have been, pretty much globally and throughout history, socialised to see men as superior to women. However women 'see themselves' doesn't mitigate this material reality.

This is the reason that men on average earn about one fifth more than women so it tends to be the woman's career which takes a back seat.

Same sex relationships do seem to spread the 'mental load' more evenly imvhe.

Jux · 05/11/2018 21:55

My cousin married a really nice chap, who'd left his major public school with not a qualification to his name. Dumb as fuck, dear chap. Kind, courteous, impeccable manners, wealthy parents, charming, delightful company. By the time he was 25 he was employed by a friend's daddy's bank and earning such a ridiculous amount of money it was embarrassing. He's on even more now.

All because he is white, male and his face fitted. If he'd been born on a sink estate to wc parents without a bean, he'd be lucky to be working 0 hr contracts on NMW.

thehorseandhisboy · 05/11/2018 22:46

As mentioned by pp, it's the utter mediocrity (at best) that drives me nuts.

It's usually accompanied by starting a job, introducing 'initiatives' and 'strategies' that are stupid and completely ill-thought out, then leaving for the next promotion once that becomes obvious.

And it's the rest of the staff who are left to sort out the mess.

Teacher22 · 05/11/2018 23:12

When I was teaching all the department heads were men and the women in their departments did most of the work. After thirty odd years it started to change.

To look at the other side of things, though, my poor other half was one of those same middle class men. He went out at seven and came back at seven and had commutes of between an hour and two hours over the years. He was very good at his job but the years of slog wore him out. He was made redundant four times in all. Eventually he was pushed out by an awful younger woman who was an incompetent virago and it took him a year to get over it.

I have a son and a daughter and life is easy for neither of them.

user1499173618 · 06/11/2018 06:21

I do a job where I meet a lot of senior male professionals (many of whom are white, but not all) and, yes, I am frequently staggered by their arrogance and lack of self-awareness. They seem to think that they are superior to everyone in all circumstances when a rapid examination of the evidence would clearly highlight areas of weakness (that it is completely normal to have, btw).

user1499173618 · 06/11/2018 06:25

I am also curious as to why one of our DC displays “traditional” male behavioural traits towards domestic labour (he completely disregards it and is a filthy slob unless someone is always running around after him) and not the other two.

Shitonthebloodything · 06/11/2018 06:37

I don't work in 'City jobs' anymore OP but I did for many years and I couldn't agree with you more. It angers and frustrates me endlessly.

WitchyMcWitchface · 06/11/2018 06:41

Some people lack empathy, ime more males than females, so can have no sympathy for the staff and see it as the'staff' chose their job, not their problem and unaware or lack of comprehension that much of society expects consideration and appreciation for those aiding us.

bristolone · 06/11/2018 07:00


I have seen this too in professional practice. The white public school boys hold the top jobs despite not being particularly great as a graduate because of their connections.

Sadly I've seen it in the public sector too with white men holding the top slots and paying themselves more than women and bme men and women.

And don't get me started on the constant restructures which seem to involve ousting 50/60 something women out of admin jobs - because "they are dead wood," - without any understanding of value and years of knowledge they provide for relatively low pay. But they find money for expensive consultants.

bristolone · 06/11/2018 07:08

It's usually accompanied by starting a job, introducing 'initiatives' and 'strategies' that are stupid and completely ill-thought out, then leaving for the next promotion once that becomes obvious.

Or a nice pay off when it doesn't work out!

Edgymum · 06/11/2018 07:13

White men dominate the positions of power in all we do. They won’t let women in unless we adopt their alpha values. Check out Mary Portas view on this, she’s just written a book and I couldn’t agree more. I worked in banking and recruitment but ‘playing the game to get to the top’ went against my morals, which is why I quit the corporate world and now work for myself.

Dollymouse · 06/11/2018 08:50

I agree with OP - we had a lot of this in an org I worked in - a guy was brought in who looked and seemed absolutely right - suited up, right age etc - CV of similar roles and I suddenly woke up to the fact that my boss and his boss were both fairly mediocre - where I was really good at my job - I just had accepted stating at the level I was at. So I left and now I am a director somewhere else. I have to say I do think it comes back to belief about our worth. Incidentally the senior guy ended up on gardening leave for being shit - and has been moved on from several organisations. This happens a lot too - cock up and you get paid off. I am not angry about it - but I did realise you have to step up and take it - no one is going to hand it to you.

trudi33 · 06/11/2018 08:57

Sad to hear all this re the corporate world and one always suspected some businesses were like this. One simple solution would be to force Eton etc to take in girls.. I am in a profession (veterinary) which is now , I think because of the intake, predominately female, the boys are disappearing. This imbalance and it's effects are rarely reported. There must be a balancing point somewhere.

rupertina · 06/11/2018 09:04

If you can't beat them, join them!

InertPotato · 06/11/2018 09:31

It's not entirely surprising, given the number of smart women I know who are happy to support their husband's careers and stay at home. It's a pretty nice life, being a SAHM to a high earner.

Given what we know about assortative mating, this is a double whammy: it saps the upper echelons of women, and liberates the men entirely of domestic concerns.

Should we try to convince them to stop this, or just let them get on with it?

bristolone · 06/11/2018 10:01

It's not entirely surprising, given the number of smart women I know who are happy to support their husband's careers and stay at home. It's a pretty nice life, being a SAHM to a high earner.

Are you talking about a stay at home mum with under 5's? I do hope not. It's bloody hard work.

Why again are we blaming women for this and not the elites that carry on with the status quo?


Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.