Sexism - it's what causes women to stop believing in themselves, their capabilities, and innate power. Living with sexism day in and day out is profoundly destructive to mental health - the toxicity quietly and systematically eats away women over time.
She approaches the job with enthusiasm but that's when the grooming begins. She's constantly put down, asked to prove herself repeatedly, and interrupted incessantly. Her ideas are dismissed and mocked... and her behavior is put under a microscope. She's told she's "too bossy" and "overbearing" and it's suggested she focus on more traditional feminine characteristics.
Then he steals the idea he trashed and takes credit for her work. She watches as the company celebrates the man who stole her work.
Many women accept their lot and quietly go about their work, keeping their head down and their fingers typing. At night they go home and drink wine and try to forget the rage burning deep inside while they prepare themselves for another day of their role of supporting the men who do not deserve the support, while internalizing the insults and put downs of the day.
And those of us who buck the system, speak our truth, and say "Enough!," we are the ones that get it bad. The full weight of the patriarchy descends upon us. That's when the men give up the flattery they use to get work from us and start playing competitively, attempting to discredit and undermine our projects any chance they get.
Because she doesn't stay quiet, she is seen as a threat.
The reality of the situation is that her intelligence and efficiency threaten to shed light on his sloppy work, lack of basic skills, and gross incompetence. Women's very existence in the workplace threaten men's ability to fly under the radar doing a half-ass job.
Then the other women in the organization who are focused on feeding mouths and paying for daycare became frozen with fear in watching her struggle. So they distance themselves from her and often start to join in the beatings...a crushing blow to a woman half dead already from pounding away at the glass ceiling.
Meanwhile they give her half of the raise she earned just to keep her "hungry." In other words, to keep her begging. At the same time, they promote men with zero competence and expect the "support staff" - i.e. women - to clean up his mess.
Yet because she is driven and has been fed a lie that the workplace is an equal playing field, she works even harder, reads more books, takes more classes, wants to be better, be stronger. She thinks the problem is inside herself.
Once she figures out what is happening and starts blowing the whistle, she's handed a pink slip, an NDA, and a pile of money to keep quiet about what's really going on. It wasn't enough to steal her dignity and livelihood, now they've gagged her voice.