I've been working with my current company for 7 years, and have received 2 promotions (i.e. from coop student, to engineer, to intermediate engineer). There are only two more levels in my company (6000 employees total): principal engineer (we keep about 12 on staff), and chief engineer (only 3 exist in the company, each with 4 principal engineers reporting to them). The promotion to principal engineer comes with a large boost in pay (stocks, salary, bonuses, benefits), and my own boss mentioned to me that I was (during my previous performance review) a "strong candidate" for being a principal engineer. My office is small (less than 60 employees), so there's only 1 spot for a principal engineer (the current one is retiring). I'm also one of the few female engineers in my company.
My boss, sadly, decided to go on sabbatical, due to the stress of his job, and won't be returning for a year. His replacement, "Ted", is easy to work under, but is very machine-like (i.e. is completely unemotional and speaks to people like we're robots). Ted has decided to hire an outside engineer, "Alessandro", to act as a lead-senior engineer in the office, alongside me.
Alessandro is very smart, and seems to spend his spare time on weekends and evenings coding on Github for large projects (Linux kernel, and a lot of common open source technologies and cloud platforms). He's also capable of learning a new programming language every weekend (he claims to read 2000+ pages of tech news and programming books every month), has several industry-relevant certifications, and doesn't seem to forget anything.
I cannot compete, as a mother and someone who has an actual social life, with a machine like Alessandro.
I'm concerned that Ted will promote Alessandro over me, despite me being promised this position and being with the company much longer, and losing out on the promotion I was previously first-in-line for. How can I fix this?
- PLEASE!!! Don't advise the usual "StackExchange special" of "find a new job": it's not practical for someone like me who has arranged work-from-home benefits and worked my way up in an industry that's hostile to women. I'd have to start all over if I joined another company.
- I possess knowledge of company products that Alessandro will need me in order to learn in time to be useful. I could inform Ted that I'm aiming to advance soon or take an extended stress leave due to the stress of my job and family life. I am worried that this might be seen as goading my boss though.
- I feel I have superior social skills to Alessandro, and can work much better with people in a "team lead" capacity: is there any way to convey this to Ted?
- I'm wondering if this could be brought up with an external agency, such as the
#MeToomovement, but am worried that it could become overly political and get me blacklisted. Is there any way to anonymously draw attention to my employer being unfair to women in terms of promotions and compensation?