The phone rang.
I heard a fragile voice on the other end of the line who was doing everything she could to keep it together. I asked, "Are you okay?" I knew this answer but I knew she was looking for someone to ask.
Jennifer got quiet and then sobbed about how she was let go at the end of 2015. She had a great job in project management. After 20 years and steady progression, she found herself promoted, doing well and unexpectedly cut due to the downturn.
I know that feeling of being reduced.
But what was really bugging Jennifer? She told me she was feeling humiliated and isolated. I agreed with her... those are all valid feelings to have when you are going through a layoff.
But she then told me it wasn't so much the layoff that had her upset. She felt alone and isolated because she had just been kicked out of a women's networking organization in energy for being unemployed. (via an email)...
My empathy for Jennifer turned to shock. "You were what?" "As in, you were told you could no longer be a part of the group because of your employment status?"
(And via an email, nonetheless?!?!)
She sobbed, "Yes. They said I had to be working in the energy industry to be a member."
"Katie, Do you think you can help me?"
Can I help her, I thought? Why yes, I can. It's the very reason I started this. It's the reason I get up every day. I want women to stay in industry. I want to see them progress. I'm so sick of seeing us lose great people and it absolutely disgusts me to know that there are organizations who say they promote women when they are kicking them to the curb at times like now.
I don’t know what it is about women (or people for that matter).
There are days I wish I had enough money in the world to wrap up all the therapy and put a bright bow on top the box and drop it off at the doorstep of these petty souls who prey on others misfortunes. And.. may these people never have to experience a layoff, or say, a big discrimination suit.
Tsk. People who create drama deserve their karma. You get what you put into the world.
And for Jennifer, I’m so happy she put herself out there and called.
Jennifer, you're welcome here. Everyone is welcome here. If ANY of you ever need anything (any of you), please reach out. Our community is here to support you.