Things one must be aware of in professional life (particularly if you’re a female):
Just because your company speaks loudly against harassment, doesn’t mean it’s practiced within the organization. There will always be elements among your peers who will make gender biased and sexist comments, but they’ll do it cleverly. They’ll make it sound like they’re doing it jokingly so that later they cannot be implicated for it. If you are suffering such gibes at work, make sure you apprise your management about it and tell them it’s not appreciated.
The glass ceiling is a reality. Again, even if your company has scores of policies against favoritism doesn’t mean they’re devoid of loopholes. Furthermore, there are people around you who are deft at exploiting these loopholes. Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about this, because as I mentioned, those who exploit these loopholes do so very discretely. It’s exceedingly difficult to isolate such instances with solid proof. However, if you’re able to do so, don’t sit by and ignore it. Report it!
Always market your achievements. If you don’t do that, nobody else will do it for you. No matter how hard you work or how many late hours you put in, it’ll all matter only when you tell your management what you’ve achieved from doing so. Yes, they’re not blind to the hard work you’re putting in, but they pretend to be oblivious to it. They do this because essentially they’re working to achieve the organization’s targets. For them, as long as that’s getting done, they won’t give a hoot about you. So be proactive. Don’t sit by and pin all your hopes to your management. There’s no guarantee that management is sincerely thinking of your benefit. Seize the opportunity and show management that you’re willing to take up challenging tasks.
As long as you go out of your way to do things for people, they’ll be happy and will certainly take you for granted. It will only take one incident gone askew, to change their opinion of you. They will instantly turn from happy supportive peers to fire breathing enemies out for your head. Make sure to set the right expectations for others. Otherwise you’ll end up feeling discouraged and disgruntled.