#hearLDSwomen: LDS Men Don’t Know How to Interact with Me in a Career Support Context

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I was in institute in law school. It was competition season. Some men in the class had just made the national finals of a big competition. The institute director walked in and spent five minutes praising them to high heaven about what this meant for their reputation, careers, etc. The men said thank you and pointed out that two women in the class (including me) had also made the national finals of another competition. The institute director (a 70 year old man) gaped and then said “well, I suppose excelling at education is always good as an example for your future children when you become mothers…?”


I was serving as president of a professional women’s network that is a sub chapter of the local BYU Management Society—led by lots of white, Mormon men. I was also a brand new stay-at-home mother, having left my career position after my first was born but wanting to stay professionally engaged. At a local training for Management Society leadership, the president went around the room giving an example of how the concept he was teaching could be applied in our personal careers. He addressed each person in the room except me – he skipped right over me because I was a stay-at-home mom. He could have addressed my former position I’d been in till just a couple months previous. He could have addressed my role as PRESIDENT of the women’s network, but instead he pretended I didn’t exist or wasn’t in the room. The same man sent my board an article that explains why women’s networks never work (hint: because they don’t include men). So supportive.
– K. Peterson


Men at LDS networking events won’t even talk to me. I went to an event when I was in law school (at a non-LDS law school) that was with the local chapter of a group for LDS lawyers. It was co-sponsored by the attorney group and the law student group. When I was introducing myself to some of the lawyers (all men), one of them asked me which of the law students was my husband. I said that none of them were. The lawyer looked completely confused and said, “Then what are you doing here?” I told him I was the vice president of the law student chapter and that I was getting a legal education.
– Trudy


Pro Tip: Be inclusive and supportive of the women in your career support organizations, particularly those that have more men than women.

Click here to read all of the stories in our #hearLDSwomen series. Has anything like this happened to you? Please share in the comments or submit your experience(s) to participate in the series.

“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)



  1. I was the only female LDS professor at a small university outside the Mormon belt. There were 6 other LDS male professors who met together regularly for lunch and served together on various campus initiatives. The tenured men would help the younger mens’ careers by co-authoring papers, lecturing in each other’s classes, serving on disseration committees, writing reference or award letters for one another, etc. They also kept a watch out for LDS students- especially male graduate students. Perhaps most importantly, they supported each other politically- navigating the harsh anti-Mormonism of colleagues, administration, and even students in our area.

    And I was never invited or included. Also, because we all knew about each other – there was an awkwardness that created even larger distance between us than with non-LDS female faculty.

  2. This is absolutely horrifying to me. Forget, for a minute, the complete lack of any level of awareness, but on a purely Male level these men ARE going to have female colleagues and (gasp) superiors. And when they treat them as they treat their LDS women they are going to get crushed. And what will be the professional takeaway? “Mormons are weird/misogynist/unable to work with a team” and that gets around, professionally.

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