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Woman told she won't be promoted because she would make more than the men. UPDATED

Woman told she won't be promoted because she would make more than the men. UPDATED


The workplace can be incredibly cutthroat and sometimes it's hard to know what to do when you feel you are being taken advantage of.

One woman wrote to Reddit when she felt that her manager, an older male, was intentionally taking advantage of her and her work. She says he admitted that she was the best employee in her division, but refused to promote her, or give her a raise, even though she was financially benefitting the comapny significantly more than her male counterparts.

After, listening to what Reddit readers had to say, she decided to do something about it. She shares the full story with added updates and provides us with a pretty satisfying ending. This is the story of a lot of woman in the modern workforce and a good example of how to advocate for yourself.

'My (30sF) Manager (50sM) is holding me back and it's affecting my career.'


My Manager won't promote me because I'm too valuable in my current position. I've expressed my desire for additional responsibilities, more visibility to the company and a promotion.

He agrees the work I'm doing is 1-2 levels higher than my title and comp and I should be doing more and have a different title, but has been making excuses for 5 years why he 'can't' promote me.

He tried replacing me with 5 different external candidates over 13 months, so I could move up, and none of them stuck because the job was too big, too demanding and too much work even for candidates with 20+ years of experience.

He brought them all in at a higher comp than I am currently making. Currently, I am the only person in the company who knows how to do around 40% of my responsibilities. I think this is a major factor in his decision.

He said I can't get a raise to the market level because I will be making more than my (male) counterparts. I've been in my role for 8 years. Does a lateral move for higher comp at a different company make sense? Nearly every current ad for my same title at similar size companies is paying 15-20% more than what I'm making.

Or should I hold out for a different title even if it means staying at the company for 6-12+ more months? Not sure if that contradicts my desire to continue growing in my career. I'm frustrated because I've been in my position 3 years longer than I wanted and I'm not progressing as I should.

I'm a Mid 30s Corporate Manager for a 2 Billion dollar company. If I stay in my role at this company any longer, I dread that I will never get out. Internal or external. I will go crazy if I'm doing this work for the next 30 years.

As a hiring Manager, I would see it as a red flag that the current company isn't promoting the employee applying. I don't know how to professionally say I'm being blocked by my Manager. Has anyone else ever experienced something similar?

Here were the top comments from readers after the initial post:


I'm outraged on your behalf reading this. Go find yourself a position where your skill and experience will be respected and rewarded. This ain't it.


As someone who works in recruiting, while it may seem like a red flag at first that you've been in the same role for 8 years, I would explain how the role has changed while you've been in it and what new responsibilities you've taken on, if any. You can also list big projects and their dates on your resume, which gives more of a timeline for the role instead of just one chunk labelled 8 years.

I would tell hiring managers that while you like your company, role, coworkers, etc, you are at a point where you feel like you need something new, but there isn't anything at your current job you can move into and doesn't seem that anything will come up.

Say you wanted to give them a chance because of the aforementioned reasons, but you are now at a point where you've outgrown them and can no longer wait around.


You should have been gone a long time ago, tbh. If other companies are paying more and offering better opportunities, what is keeping you where are right now, miserable and frustrated? Life's too short to let people disrespect you like this. Update your resumé, and hit the bricks.


The only way I moved up in my career was to change companies and go for the next level position at the next company. Your manager doesn’t want you being promoted because they don’t want you making them obsolete.

Middle management positions are the most vulnerable jobs and they’ll hold on to them tight. I was never able to make moves within or get more training. I was always told things like “that’s not why we hired you.”

I spent 8 years at a company with nothing more than informal title changes and small raises just to keep me somewhat happy short term. When I finally moved on I was able to make $20k more at the next place.

Two weeks later, the OP returned with an update.

'[Update] My (30sF) Manager (50sM) is holding me back and it's affecting my career.'


I just want to thank everyone for their feedback and advice. I was really having a hard time at work and I needed to know I wasn't wrong for thinking this way.

The day after my original post, I updated my resume and scoured the internet for job opportunities. I applied to over a dozen job ads and I think half of them reached out to me for interviews. There was one I really liked during the initial interviews, but continued with the process for the other ones to get more interview experience.

It was a crazy week trying to schedule all of the interviews while working during our busy month, but I didn't care.

For the one I really liked, it took a week to go through the interview process. I cannot stress enough how stressful those days were! Every day/interview that went by, I got more and more excited. The Hiring Manager and I were chatting and talking like we've known each other for years. Every time I brought up my way of thinking or something I've achieved, they got really excited.

I had a really good feeling about this opportunity. In the final interview, I, once again, talked about growth opportunities and my desire to learn and absorb as much as I can to help the company continue to succeed.

They already talked about what type of paths I can take within the company and what they will do to help me achieve my goals. They gave specific examples, which is more than I've ever received from my current Manager for the 10 years I've worked for him.

They offered me the position! Bigger title, 20% pay bump, hybrid, competitive PTO, good bonus potential and better benefits. I accepted the position and will be giving my notice this week. It also checks several other boxes that I'm looking for. I am beyond excited for this opportunity! I should note that I will not accept a counter offer.

Here were the top responses after this update:


This is great, good for you! Petty little me would love to hear how it goes at work when you give your notice.


So after all that second-guessing and self-doubt, you fixed this problem in less than two weeks. Keep that in mind the next time you question your professional skills.

(Looking forward to a detailed description of how butt-hurt your shitty manager becomes when you drop this truth bomb on him!)


This is so excellent. Congratulations! Also. Please tell us what happens when you tell your manager. I’d love to see what they try to counter with.


Congratulations!! That's the thing about being undervalued: Someone out there would value you more, already.

Just under one month later, the OP returned with a final update.

'[Update #2] My (30sF) Manager (50sM) is holding me back and it's affecting my career.'


It has been quite a whirlwind over the past month.

I gave my notice. My Manager was annoyed, disengaged from me and wanted nothing to do with me.

HR and his Manager, the #2 person in the company, tried to get me to stay. Offered me a 40% raise, the title I want, the changes to the department I want and anything else I want. I thought about it for all of 0 seconds and I said no.

I told both of them everything that has been going on over the past year. The CEO/Owner even made a few passes at me to get me to stay. I politely said no. They all know he is the reason I was leaving.

My Manager spoke to me all of 3 times. He ignored me. He treated me like crap. He made comments about me. He argued with me in meetings. It was so unprofessional and it took everything I had to work out my full notice. I miraculously went from an award winning Manager to the worst he's ever seen. How convenient.

I heard through the grapevines he nearly got fired for treating me like he has. I don't know if it's true or not, but I'll pretend it is. I do know, however, he presented changes to 'fix' the department after my departure. HR and his boss looked at it and said, 'That's OP's plan, isn't' it?' and he reluctantly said yes. This jerk-off tried to take my ideas and play them off as his own. Again.

I worked for this man for nearly a decade. They threw a going away party for me. He didn't come. Not even for 2 seconds to say, 'good luck' to save face for the rest of the department. He called in sick my last day, so I never actually had any closure with him.

You can imagine how painful it must have been for him to contact me and ask to be a consultant because no one else can do my stuff. I told him I will not work with him, but will discuss details with another Manager within the company. Details are still pending, but I'm holding firm on my number. If they don't want to pay me what I want, no skin off my back.

This past week was my first week at my new job and I love it. It's everything I hoped for and more. They are already discussing and giving me additional responsibilities and departments over the summer and I could not be happier. My new Manager and I get along so well. I've never regretted for a second making this decision.

My husband has made comments about how happy I am and I'm smiling again. The hour demands are significantly less, so I have time to spend on my hobbies. I actually get to WFH now, as this is a hybrid position, so we are updating the home office.

This honestly feels like a dream and I'm going to wake up any minute. I am so happy. Thank you everyone in my previous posts for your kind words and support. They really helped push me to making the right decision for me and my family.

Here were the top responses to this final update:


That the old company has retained him, even after his behavior during your exit and knowing he tried, yet again, to claim credit for your ideas.

AND seeing how screwed the department is after he failed to appropriately manage transition of responsibilities and knowledge sharing (what would have happened if you'd suddenly had an accident or gotten ill and there wasn't even an option for you to consult?) tells you all you need to know about how staying after a counter-offer would have gone. Tale as old as time.

So glad that the new role is working out for you -- that has to feel so validating!


Congratulations! I am so happy to see that you got out, are happier, and that he had to eat crow. That said, the fact that the company knows this guy is full of shit, sucks at his job, and is an asshole and he still has his job says that this is a company nobody decent should ever want to work for. Half of what you’ve described would have gotten me to fire him.


I never understand the logic of these people. Did they really think a person that valuable wouldn't be able to find a better job position elsewhere?


It worked for years. They'll just do it to the next one they find too.


I mean, OP stayed for 8 years of being rebuffed while she did the work of multiple people. Of course they weren’t going to promote her or pay her more. Good on her for sticking to her guns, finally.

This one has a happy ending! Does anyone have an uplifting story of sticking it to the man like this?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit,Reddit
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