Tag Archives: Workplace

Moog

I eventually left a company after 4 years after pointing out to my boss that I wasn’t as senior as one would expect or paid as much as one would expect given my experience and the role I was carrying out. (I left for a job with nearly twice the salary so I think I probably had a point!). After only one year my (male) replacement has already been promoted. To cap it off I’ve just seen an advert for the company where it is lauding itself for “the great career opportunities available to girls”. Yes, they actually referred to female professionals as “girls”.

Júlia

At the beginning of each school year, there’s always a very kind, very condescending male student offering to help me with the computer/projector/etc. Young male students get extremely offended if I choose a female classmate to start a game or do something fun and immediately accuse me of being a ‘feminist’. Yes, yes I am, kids. Sue me.

Anonymous

So a male colleague who I don’t normally work with, insisted on carrying all of the not-even-heavy equipment today even though I am quite capable of carrying it. I am not used to this kind of behaviour and although it sounds minor, it was very uncomfortable and seemed that he thought I was too weak and pathetic to do my job. If this wasn’t bad enough, I found out this same colleague had requested another male to work with him for a particular task instead of myself, even though this was an area I am particularly qualified in and have worked in for years, which makes me think he has a problem with women or is trying to freeze me out intentionally. I haven’t really had to deal with sexist people before and am not sure how to approach it, but I need to speak to him about the issue soon before it gets worse. Perhaps I should ask my line manager if I can work with someone else.

Anissa

I complained to my bosses about a co worker because of his sexist comment to women at my workplace. This morning he told me to BE QUIET WOMAN. BE QUIET WOMAN AND GO. He would now slam doors really loud and provoke me at all times. I work in a primary school. He is a teaching assistant.

Slick

Just found out that the women in my company are holding a Women Only dinner party. If we’re all the same and shit, why hold an event that only half the company can take part?

Abi

I’m a vocalist in clubs and pubs. I now only take gigs which my husband can attend with me because I got so sick of the rampant sexism and sexual harassment from men. They must think I’m singing to them or something and think because I’m friendly I must be “up for it”. It makes me sick to my stomach. Some men have no respect for personal space and put their arm round me while I’m singing or try and hold my hand. I’m only 5ft 3 and I can’t protest as I’m singing. In the past I’ve been threatened and harassed for turning men down. I’m self employed so there is no employment law to protect me

Kayleigh

I work in a bookshop and yesterday at work a mother came in with her young daughter. They were looking at sticker books and the young girl, who couldn’t be anymore than six, picked up a book about space and said she wanted that one, to which her mother replied “You cant have that one, space is for boys”. She ended up with a book about ballerinas that her mum picked. Really annoyed me to see a young girl being taught that she can’t like certain things because they aren’t for girls, especially by not only another female but by her own mother!

A.P.

When I worked my first management job, it was in a sports store. I was consistently ignored by men who came in to shop even though I was far more knowledgeable about the products we sold. They couldn’t stand having a female know more about sports than they did. The owner, my boss, felt that I was too nice to the staff. I always treated them with respect and dignity, trained them fully and kept communication open. Apparently he didn’t like that, but the staff did. Any one of them would bend over backwards to make sure that things were done correctly and that our customers were treated like gold. I treated them as essential members of a team and never made them feel that they were below me. The owner didn’t like this approach and decided to hire another “manager” to oversee me and all of my stores. He was a sleezy, older guy who constantly made passes at all my young female staff. He made everyone uncomfortable and caused a huge amount of unrest in our company, however the owner thought he would be the one to bring about change in some way. I took several concerns to the owner of his undesirable behaviour and the fact that he refused to do any work at all. It led to problems between myself and the owner and finally to my resignation because he refused to act on the concerns my staff and I expressed. I refuse to be a part of an organization that encourages women to be treated as nothing but eye candy. We ended up with no respect, no rights and no dignity. When I left, many of my staff followed and soon after the useless, sleezy “manager” was fired for not doing his job, but not for how he treated people. Now, years later, that owner has lost all of his business and was forced to sell. What goes around, comes around!

A.

I am a director at a fortune 100 company. I am forty-something and have been in technology for most of my career. I have dealt with sexism at all levels, but have usually let it go because I was embarrassed to bring it up to my male leadership. I felt like it would weaken my effectiveness to my team and to my leadership. Recently, a new VP was hired as my counter part to run the engineering side of a product I have been developing with my team for the last six months. In the last month, he has talked down to me, interrupted me in meetings, and yesterday he met with my team to a meeting without my knowledge. When I confronted him about it he asked if I was saying he had to ask for permission to talk to people. I stated that meeting with my team without my knowledge and intentionally leaving me out was unacceptable. He continued to speak to me in a bullish manner and commented on how tightly wound I seemed, even though I was being clear and unemotional. This can’t continue and I have been advised to take it to the top, which is most likely going to ruin my career there. I spent all morning reading articles on sexism. I am normally easy going but I feel like I have no choice but to stand up and that I would have no self-respect if I let it go. I think about my mother, my grandmother and all of the women who have stood up so that women like me would have better opportunities. I think about how I owe it to them and to future generations of girls and women to continue the fight for our equality in the workplace. This tough truth has never hit me so hard as it has today—the sad reality of sexism in the workplace and tech. I have mixed emotions—fear and embarrassment that I have to bring it up to my male leadership—and at the same time the overwhelming responsibility I feel as a leader regardless of my sex. Wish me luck.

LN

Once when I was 16 and with my dad at the doctor’s office and in line to check-in, an older man in a wheelchair got in line with his wife. It didn’t take long for the man to solicit my attention, and he then told me I could sit on his lap. My dad was standing directly next to me, and the man’s wife was directly next to him. Nobody said anything about it. When I was 18, I was walking through the parking lot of a grocery store when I passed by two older men. As I passed, one of the men said aloud to me, “Beautiful day! Don’t you just love summer?” I cheerfully affirmed as I went by. Not more than two steps away and I hear the man turn to his friend and say, “You get to see all the pretty young girls out in shorts.” I’ve lost many male friends because the feelings they had for me weren’t mutual; that’s fair enough. However, the few who have been turned down and have stayed, have persisted: -One casually called me his girlfriend and became defensive when I later reiterated that we were just friends (“Don’t think so highly of yourself”). -With another, I made a point to explain flat-out when he made obvious advances that we were just friends, and I eventually had to resort to giving him the cold shoulder because he wouldn’t respect my space. I later reinstated my friendliness with him, and over the course of two years (and all the reiteration that were were friends and he my “brother”) he constantly hovered, and he put his hands on me whenever I’d been drinking (when I’m cognizant, I’m uncomfortable in the moment; after nights I’ve been less than aware, I’ve been angry from stories I’ve been told). His boundaries were so lacking that a distant acquaintance once pulled him aside and asked him permission to speak to me. He later told our mutual friend that he thought he “still had a chance.” His behavior didn’t stop until I mentioned I was seeing someone– as is often the case (as I’ve seen in some of the stories on this site) some men do not (consciously or unconsciously) respect us enough to respect our personal decisions and what we have to say, but they will respect another man.