I have been getting an increasing kick out of time references that come up while I try to contextualize what I want to say. Phrases like “for nearly 20 years” and “over 5 years” end up getting used a lot in order to support whatever opinion or expertise I want to launch into at the time.
I think about this in a few ways. Primarily, I think about an assumption that, with effort, expertise grows over time and being a woman with an open ended skillset makes time based experience mandatory. In conjunction with this, I think it is not necessarily a gendered position because tech skills (among other competencies) gained over time and on one’s own can be shown to be as good as if not superior to more standard avenues of education. But managers and managerial systems are still not caught up to look for and assess these skills.
As one of those women who totally loved wifey time and mommy time, I am exceedingly glad that I am lucky enough and hard headed enough to have had the foresight to work like a hound not only as wifey and mommy but as a “professional” regardless. I don’t have gaps in my work record other than that time after I nearly died in childbirth. And even then. And I know plenty of women where the “paid work history” gap left them near destitute and just F’d.
So, when I say things like “I have been doing X for X number of years” what I am trying to convey is that, even if it is just conjecture and opinion that I am dishing, it isn’t unconsidered, it isn’t unconnected, and it is relatively well supported. It is, unfortunately, probably over generalized for the sake of sketching and kvetching out thoughts quickly. But, even for a mouthy woman, I don’t talk about stuff I know nothing about.