Hi everyone, so I was attending a web meeting and it was really important for me in the sense that I wanted to present my startup idea to them and know their feedback. The fund is from the US and I'm from India.
I had to spend a lot of days cold emailing them to set up a call with me. It's a big venture fund and they agreed to sponsor my tickets to their office but since it wasn't possible for me to travel to their office being a college student, I asked them if we could zoom a meeting and they agreed.
After their introduction, I started off with "Hi guys, my name is -->" and there I made the biggest mistake of life. The team lead was a lady and she said "guys" isn't a gender-neutral word and how I should be taking care of it. She also went on to criticize me for not being mature enough to even know this and how will I be able to convert my company without girls in the team. She spoke for at least 5 minutes and then other people started agreeing with her too.
They didn't seem that interested afterwards and I just got my mood off too.
I've bee using guys all my life & I will try to change but I don't think I can. It's just stupid according to me. What do you think I should have done?
I think I just didn't say anything in return because 1. she was the manager 2. I didn't want a wrong label for myself.
What should I have done? Another lady also recently tweeted about how casually everyone uses "guys" in corporate especially tech industry and how they should take care of it.