Age and gender play key roles in many societies and cannot be dismissed regardless of your disposition. This does not mean, however, that you need to succumb to harassment if you’re a woman. It does mean, though, that you need to be aware of the issues and respectfully address them, as needed. Ageism is a byproduct of the American obsession with the Youth culture (Globiana Webinar: Youth Culture, March 2015). Generally speaking, the USA doesn’t value the wisdom of age at work as older cultures might the BRICS or the EU. The rationale is that you can always be replaced with someone younger and cheaper. However, that too is changing as baby Boomers continue to age the workforce. In certain professions, age is an asset like consulting, where experience is crucial.
Workplace norms in America include equality among women and men. Although this is the spoken and written practice, there are many unwritten rules in male dominated organizations such as law and medicine where women face the challenges of breaking through the the glass ceiling. They can “see” the opportunities, but very often are competing with men who may be an impediment for those senior-level positions. However, this being the land of opportunity, women will rarely find more employment opportunities, overall, than in the United States.
Opportunities for promotion are available and in many cases offered to anyone who can prove their value to the organization. Salaries are often negotiated, even when an employer says that they don’t have any room in the budget to negotiate it. Many times you can negotiate aspects of the compensation package, such as time off, work hours, flexible work arrangements, and other benefits.