gillpolack (gillpolack) wrote,

Women's History Month: Marianne de Pierres

You know, I grew up thinking I could do anything I wanted to do; believing that I was equal. I guess that’s a testament to my parents more than anything. It wasn’t really until my early twenties that I realized that not everyone in the world had the same belief. In one particular job I had, I was persistently patronized, belittled and in the end sacked under a pretext. What had done? Well, I’d talked to my teenage charges about sexual harassment in the work force – how to identify it and what to avenues to purse if it was happening – and my superiors perceived that I was trouble making and conveniently made me redundant soon after (after several bollickings).

I haven’t thought about this incident for years, but as I started writing this, the memory resurfaced in Technicolor. I took this as a sign that it was time to talk about it. This incident happened in about 1987, around the time Equal Opportunity began to get a fair hearing in political circles. I think back on how I was treated with such contempt for wanting to educate and protect my trainees against unacceptable behavior. All I succeeded in doing, however, was shattering my own self-confidence and self belief. There was no one there to back me. No wise woman, or sorority sister to call on. It took years of experience and personal growth to get past how I was treated and to regain my belief.

So, in Woman’s History Month, if there is anything I could offer Gillian’s female readers, it would you encourage you all to mentor each other in the workplace and in life. I could have done with such a person in 1987, and I will, to the day I die, always try and be that to someone else in need. – Marianne de Pierres

Marianne de Pierres is an award-winning author who publishes novels in the science fiction, fantasy, crime and young adult genres. Visit her websites at, and

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