A few years ago, I was called for an interview by a very reputed media house. I had a decent resume and the interview went very well. It was all nice and we were about to discuss the financial terms. The person in question asked me about my family. I told him I had a school going daughter.
Out of the blue, he told me that if I wanted a job, I would have to give a copy test. I was rather puzzled because only newbie writers give a copy test. Not the ones who have worked for over a decade. He abruptly cut short the interview and told me he would get back to me.
I didn't think much about it right then but on the ride back home, I suddenly realized that the moment I revealed that I had a child, this person backed off. I'm assuming there were men in his organization who had kids...and were still on the job.
Another time, I went to another company for a job. Same experience there too. The moment, I told them that I was married with a child, they started passing glances at one another and that was it. I knew that I would not land the job. Perhaps I should have not revealed my motherhood status?
Very recently, I sat with a bunch of male TV writers to discuss, what I thought was a possible TV serial plot. They asked me to develop possible story lines. I was quite for the entire meeting. When I was asked for suggestions, I had an entire bunch of them as well as possible story plots. They asked me to 'develop stories' and write for them. I got the feeling that one of the writers was not comfortable with me giving my ideas.
I spent the next couple of days, writing the stories as they had briefed me. And when I submitted the ideas, they told me that they didn't want me to write down my ideas at all. They wanted me to write down their own.So their idea was that I would take down what they had said word for word and write it down.
So you want a data entry person? Or a stenographer? I very politely questioned them. Because I was neither. There were people equipped to do that job. I had idea skills. Not manual ones. I'm guessing someone misinformed them or I was projecting the wrong impression.As was expected, I did not get the project and in case my stories appear on the TV channel even though uncredited, I'll be more than happy.
I went to a Writer's Association to register myself. There is an entire wall of fame there with all the prominent writers of the film and TV industry. And guess what??? Not the picture of even a single female writer!!!
Is it only my imagination or do we women have to work doubly hard to work our way up the ladder?
And will it ever change?