Tag Archives: Workplace

Jennifer

Working on an IT project at my new client, I was in a 4-person meeting working through some design issues in having AX2012 control the creation of activities in Salesforce against documentation that was being scrubbed in a 3rd system. One of the guys in the group literally pretended I wasn’t there. Every single sentence, every question, every suggestion I made (and when it comes to design discussions, I do not hesitate to voice my opinions and ideas) was completely ignored, as though it had never happened. It was awkward enough for the other guys to notice and give funny looks, though neither of them did anything. They would, occasionally, if they agreed with me, repeat what I had just said (literally), so that the AX expert would “hear” it. After 4 of these meetings, this expert realized I actually DID know what I was talking about, and would at least hear what I said in in person meetings. However, with every question and every issue I raised for the next 1.5 YEARS on the project he would follow this pattern: 1. Ignore me. 2. Dismiss the issue out of hand as “not an issue” I would then take the time 30-60 minutes to “prove” it was an issue 3. Acknowledge it was happening, but dismiss its importance I would then take the time 3-5 hours usually, to “prove” it was a major issue with data to back me up. 4. Acknowledge it was an issue and important, and finally fix it. In less than 10 minutes. He truly knew his stuff in AX, and everything BUT AX were my areas of expertise. But seriously? EVERY ISSUE he wasted up to 6 hours of my time in making me prove it. And I was wrong about it being a major issue perhaps 1 in 50 issues? He did not act this way with any of the men on the project. Even brand new people who didn’t know what was going on. Eventually the client hired a new person to handle the integration (which I was most heavily involved in) on the AX side. HOLY MACKEREL. He was willing to listen to me, meet with me and work with me! We made more progress together in 2.5 weeks than in the full year with this other guy.

Fiona

Someone sent an email to a group dsitribution list at work that started “Gents”. Almost 50% of the people receiving the email are female.

Maria

I work as a freelance copywriter and got hired to do a project at a bank. I was assigned a visitor’s parking space, a privilege that employees apparantly did not get. During lunch, someone jokingly insinuated I only got the parking space because I am a woman. Furthermore, one of the employees​ I had to work with, continuously referred to me as ‘his girlfriend’ when introducing me to other employees. On another occasion, the project manager received an email from an employee about a copywriting request. This personen asked whether ‘his copydoll’ couldn’t write the needed content. The project manager thought this was hilarious and when I told him the next day that I was not amused, he said that it wasn’t meant disrespectfully and that I shouldn’t make a big deal out of it. There were ‘little’ incidents like this every day (not always concerning me but other women).

Louise

Where do I start? Oh my goodness, in most areas of daily life you will find sexism. I have applied for many jobs in the past, yes many, where I have been told that I would not be able to perform the work because I am female. Bear in mind that my current profession is a heavy mechanical trade, and I have worked in labouring jobs most of my adult life. Now come across the “you only got the job because you are female” attitude. Hasn’t changed in the 22 years I’ve been in the workforce.

Jodie

Today my male colleague explained to me, a female, what it is like for a woman when they have sex for the first time. “It is more intimate for a woman” he says. Why thank you male colleague for explaining to me what sex is like for a woman, for I would never know.

Kerry

Went for a work lunch with two senior colleagues yesterday, one male and one female. Myself and the other female sat facing the male colleague as we both needed to talk directly to him. The waiter turned to the male in my group and said “nice view”. When myself and my female colleague looked to see what was behind us the waiter said (to the male colleague again), “no I mean those two”. What the actual fuck.

Woman in tech

After 6 years of being sexually harassed, groped, and threatened with violence by a senior member of my company, I finally took the step to escalate it to the CEO. The harasser is the CEO’s best friend, hence my delay. After being initially shocked to hear about what happened, the CEO is now considering whether or not this is a disciplinary offence (our handbook says it’s gross misconduct, but hey). He thinks his friend, the harasser, was only joking and didn’t know I’d take it so seriously. It was all a joke. As for the times he groped me (technically sexual assault), the CEO said his friend was pissed. So that’s all okay then, my bad… Not.

Ais

Where to begin? One year, I went on holidays with my parents, I was fifteen. Sitting by the pool my parents made friends with a couple about their age with a very young son. The husband of the couple seemed really nice, chatted away to him. The next day they joined us at the pool, the husband started to stare at me, up and down, telling my parents and his wife how lovely I was. He really just kept on staring at me in my swimming togs, and he really seemed less less jolly old man and more and more, creepy old man. He joined my parents and I for a drink after dinner and when my mother went to bed, he really over kill telling me I was beautiful and grabbed me by the waist. My Father, immediately stood up and said we were leaving in a super awkward way. I think my father wanted to believe I hadn’t noticed behavior so that’s why he didn’t give out to the man, but either way, what hell did that guy think he was doing? When I was fourteen and babysitting, the kids dad slapped me on the bum and said that my shorts looked like I was wearing underwear. When I was seventeen I worked in a bar and I was cleaning the ladies bathroom as the pub was being cleared out. A man his thirties, who was engaged, who knew my family and who’s little sister was in my year in school, followed me into the bathroom, pushed the door closed behind him and told me how pretty he thought I was and asked me whether I wanted it to get “hot” in the bathroom. He grabbed for me so I backed myself into a cubicle, complete with mop and bucket and locked myself in. A friend from school, a boy, who was also working in the bar came in when he noticed the door closed and dragged the guy away. In that same bar, a married man in his forties, groped me. In that same bar, a man in his sixties, groped me. When I was nineteen, a man in his thirties licked my face and squeezed my upper thigh in a car when I was getting a lift home with his sister. He was a really big man, I am a very small person in general. His hand completely around my thigh he rubbed up towards my crotch. He did this while continuing to speak to his sister (driving) and a neighbor in the front seat about his children. I have seen him many times since and he doesn’t look me in the eye. He acts as though he has never met before, particularly if I am with a brother or someone else he knows. When I was twenty one, and in university I brought friends back to my apartment after a night out. A guy I kind of like fell asleep on the sofa, when I went to bed he came into my room. It was college and common for friends to sleep over male or female. He started to kiss me, I kissed back. Before I knew it, he was on top of me, I kept telling him to stop when he was inside me. I kept saying no. He grunted and rolled off of me when he was done. The next morning I felt so ashamed and hungover. I told my friends but I didn’t report it. My friends, never suggested I reported it, it was a case of “bummer, that’s shit”. He would make it his business to be around me at parties, I would try and get away from him, he would follow me home from uni, he once left himself into my apartment by tailgating, he once grabbed by the belt of my shorts in a pub and shoved me against the wall. My friends would give out to him and shield me while another friend helped usher me safely away. None of us ever thought that this was an unusual situation or even illegal, just college. He told friends that he raped me, in front of me and laughed at me. When I ready about unreported sexual assaults I seem to forget to make the connection. When I was twenty five and working in my first “real” job, making “good” money, I was the only female in an all male department. We were having a Christmas jumper day and I came to work wearing jeans and a Christmas jumper, as everyone else in the office did. My male boss, who I had a lot of respect for, said “what are you wearing?!” when responded that I was wearing a Christmas jumper, he said “Really?, I thought you’d show up wearing a Santa’s little helpers outfit for me” I was just astonished, really what the actual…? When I was twenty six I was out for dinner with my friends, I was standing on the street while one of them used the atm. A drunk guy grabbed me by the wrist and tried to drag me up the dark street adjacent to the street we were on. I pulled my arm away from him, he held on so tight that his nails began to dig into my skin, I successfully freed my arm from his grip and my arm started to bleed. It was infected and gross afterwards and I still have a scar on the inside of my wrist from him. I wonder does he even remember it. The dozens of times a man shoved his hand up my skirt in busy pubs. That time my boyfriends friend told me he wanted to fuck me when he bumped into me alone in the hall at a house party. That time when I was working in a restaurant at twenty three when a guy I knew through friends came in drunk with a group of colleagues. I was walking down the stairs and met him on the landing, he grabbed me by both wrists and tried to kiss me. He kept leaning in and trying to reach my face with his as I tried to wriggle out of his grip. I nearly fell down the stairs trying to get away from him. He is a notoriously “nice” guy apparently. When I was in school, my science teacher used to rub his crotch against the front of our desks, so all the girls used to rub chalk on the desks before he came into class. One day, he rubbed himself against the desks like we knew he would and when he stood away from the desk of my friend and I, he noticed that the front of his trousers was covered in chalk. He glared at my friend and I, immediately he grabbed both of us by the arm and dragged us outside of the class room. He whispered in my friends ear, then mine, that he would be our year head the following year and we wouldn’t be able to get away from him. When I was twenty two and living in New York, I was viewing an apartment when the guy who was subletting it, rubbed his crotch up against my bum, really grinded. I left. I’m now twenty nine, I am an adult with a career. I was at a work lunch and at the end of it I turned around to grab my bag and a man at the next table put his hands on the back of my neck and shoulders. I turned around and asked him what he was doing, and whether he thought it was okay to touch other people, strangers, and what was it about me that he thought I would be okay with it, I told him to keep his hands off of me. His lunch mate told me it was a joke, honey. I said he needs to get a better sense of humor and left the restaurant. I was recently heading a project in work and I had to meet a rep from another company, a man, renowned professionally. His openly line was to tell me how cute I was. He also complimented my hands and asked me did I know why men love small hands on a woman. In school, we would have free classes where we would go to a classroom to study and be supervised by a teacher. For my final year in school we had our free class on Wednesdays scheduled in the TG class. The male teacher would always make me sit at the desk directly in front of him. At the beginning I thought it was because I was one of the last in, or because I had a habit of talking to my friends instead of studying. But as time went on, I realised even when I kept quiet and didn’t take my eyes away from the pages of my notebooks, that he would still make me sit there. Or when I realised that when other people were talking, he would make me sit there but not them. He would make me sit there and he would stare at me, I can still feel his eyes staring at me when I tried to keep my focus and avoid eye contact with him by staring at my books. I would always from then on be one of the first rather than one of the last to arrive to class but he would still make me sit there. Boys and girls in the class noticed it and offer to help me avoid being sat there, completely unsolicited. One day, I arrived early, sat in the middle of the class, not the back, stayed quiet, and hoped that he would see no reason to have to move me to the top of the class. But nevertheless when the bell rang for class to start he ordered the person sitting in front of him to switch seats with me. I protested that I was doing nothing wrong and that I shouldn’t have to sit up there because I was early, I wasn’t chatting and I was studying. He ordered me again and again I protested, the rest of the class started to back me up. He let out a roar that we were to switch seats and everyone was terrified, including me, so I switched seats and he stared at me again, for the entire class. That lasted for the entire school year. A colleague of mine said that I was good at the filing because I was a woman. He said that I was good at the fluffy “people management” stuff because I was a women. He said that I received special recognition award and an extra bonus at Christmas, because the company had to give it to a woman. He also says I’m cute like a puppy. There’s more I’m sure. My friends too, there must be hundreds of these stories between us. I hope my boyfriend, my father, my brothers, my uncles, my cousins or friends have ever inflicted this kind of harassment on a women, but it’s so common, it’s so normal that the odds don’t seem in favor.

Anonymous

I deliver a foreign language to primary school children in addition to being a full time secondary teacher. Today there was a cover teacher in the room with me as I delivered the lesson as usual. He stopped me mid explanation to address the children saying ‘sometimes the words come in the wrong order in a foreign language’, took it upon himself to micro-manage the class’ behaviour, and at the end of my regularly timed slot told me the lesson was too short. I am an experienced teacher who speaks six languages, but I am also a woman.