Two colleagues traded identities for a day and uncovered a huge workplace hurdle for women

A stride in the right direction.
A stride in the right direction.
Image: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
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Martin Schneider, currently a writer and editor at the film review site Front Row Central, took to Twitter recently to share an experience he and Nicole Pieri has while working as colleagues at a resume writing service.

Their boss complained to Schneider that Pieri, his direct report, took too long with client accounts. Schneider didn’t agree with that assessment, but reluctantly agreed to work with her on it.

And then this happened:

Wouldn’t you know it? The client changed his tone.

Schneider was shocked. Pieri wasn’t.

The exchange would appear to show that simply having a recognizably female name can be a hurdle to getting basic respect at work. Time to test the theory.

The implicit bias against having a female first name well documented, and affects hiring in a variety of fields. (This discrimination is compounded if the name sounds as if it belongs to a woman of color.) Yet Pieri had stopped noticing what to Martin was a glaring double standard.

Both have since left the company, which is now under new and better management, Schneider pointed out. Pieri has written a Medium post with her perspective on the situation.

And she is using her Twitter fame for good.