Tag Archives: Workplace

IT Lady

Had the task of talking to a client about an IT technical matter. Explained I was from the IT department and trying to resolve, and required more information from him. Bloke kept talking about “The IT GUYS will sort it out”. Patiently explained again that this technical problem was what I was trying to sort out, and he did it again. In the end, I said “You do realise that we have a MIXED IT department of both guys AND girls” and he sort of mumbled something, then closed the conversation by repeating “The IT GUYS will sort it out”. FFS it’s hard enough being in a male dominated industry without having to prove that you do actually work in that industry. If a bloke had called this guy, I bet he wouldn’t have had any problems at all.

C

I asked for a pay rise when I found out I was being paid a lot less than similar male colleagues . I thought as I was a good employee the company would be supportive … but all I got was a load of grief. So I left and got another job – ironically at more than the mens’ salary. If verbal protest doesn’t work, vote with your feet!

Catkin

When I was 18, I went for a job interview in a furniture show room. I was asked some initial questions. After this, the manager looked me up and down and produced a uniform that was far too short and tight for me. I had to try it on and then come out and show him and another male employee what I looked like in this ridiculously tight uniform. I felt utterly humiliated. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Megan

I am a dietitian and quite slim build but I have a good appetite and by no means eat a meticulously healthy diet – I just exercise a lot. I find I constantly have people on the ward mentioning my weight, patients and staff asking me what I weigh and saying things like you must practice what you preach and it’s a good job you’re slim to fit through that gap. I get that I talk about weight and food with patient but I’m not there to talk about me. I’ve even had people ask me if I have an eating disorder. I’m pretty sure if I was a guy no one would even think twice if I was skinny.

Caitlin

Every day sexism. Where to start. Just the other day one of the men at my office ground his crotch up into my ass and called me his ‘suck-u-tary’ to a customer (play on the word secutary im assuming) not sure if the sexual referencing was worse, or the fact the im a marketing professional and not his receptionist.. it gets you down but keep fighting people x

Katie Thomas

Today I was standing in line at COop and happened to be right next to the papers and magazines when one children’s magazine caught my eye. It said on the front “Stickers for boys”. My heart sank as I opened it up and found loads of GREAT stickers of dinosaurs, tools, traffic cones and cars. I can’t stand that children are prescribed their interests, abilities and careers in this way. I am a construction worker and would love a spanner sticker but it has taken me some years to know this.

Q.N.

Every year at my job, we have multiple training sessions for new volunteers. In our most recent training group, we had one elderly man I’ll call Bob. Bob was a very friendly, outgoing jokester who I’d started to make a point of saying “hi” to every week, because I wanted him to stick around with our company. One week, I said hi to him and asked how his week had been, and he responded by pinching my cheek (in front of a room full of work colleagues and other new volunteers) and saying, “There’s that smile I love to see!” I should mention he’s in his 60s, I’m 25, and I’m technically his direct supervisor. Dumbfounded – but, ridiculously, not wanting to seem rude (despite how rude and degrading this was for me!!) – I just turned around & walked away rather than saying something & causing a scene. I have avoided him & refused to speak to him since. I haven’t brought this up with my boss since I have this feeling that it’s not a “big enough” deal to get this guy reprimanded or anything. But for me it WAS a big deal, and the fact that I have been sitting here biting my tongue about it for over a month and it is still bothering me is so frustrating. I hate that these things are normalized & I wish I could do something to change it without having to worry about all the stupid red tape & etiquette that comes along with working with a small company.

Q.N.

Every year at my job, we have multiple training sessions for new volunteers. In our most recent training group, we had one elderly man I’ll call Bob. Bob was a very friendly, outgoing jokester who I’d started to make a point of saying “hi” to every week, because I wanted him to stick around with our company. One week, I said hi to him and asked how his week had been, and he responded by pinching my cheek (in front of a room full of work colleagues and other new volunteers) and saying, “There’s that smile I love to see!” I should mention he’s in his 60s, I’m 25, and I’m technically his direct supervisor. Dumbfounded – but, ridiculously, not wanting to seem rude (despite how rude and degrading this was for me!!) – I just turned around & walked away rather than saying something & causing a scene. I have avoided him & refused to speak to him since. I haven’t brought this up with my boss since I have this feeling that it’s not a “big enough” deal to get this guy reprimanded or anything. But for me it WAS a big deal, and the fact that I have been sitting here biting my tongue about it for over a month and it is still bothering me is so frustrating. I hate that these things are normalized & I wish I could do something to change it without having to worry about all the stupid red tape & etiquette that comes along with working with a small company.

Glenda Dodd

My brothers never have to do housework. I do. I hate this. It’s so unfair. I am told by my parents that I am a “tomboy”, because I like to climb trees, play outside, make stuff out of wood, and wear pants sometimes instead of skirts. This is not said in complimentary tones. My father informs me that “no woman can ever do a job as well as a man can.” My brother sexually abuses me. This is not right. I tell my mother. Fortunately, he never does it again. I overhear my mother telling my father, “What does she want an education for? She’s only going to get married and have children.” At my very first job interview, my prospective boss tells me, straight up, that he expects me to have dinner with him regularly and that he wants a mistress. Then he asks me to stand up and show him my legs. I flee the premises, shake uncontrollably all the way home on the bus, bawl my eyes out, and down 3 strong vodka and tonics. Some of my dates think that sex should automatically follow if they buy me dinner. My flatemate is terrified of her step-father. She has moved out of home while he’s been working overseas. He has how phoned and told her he’s coming to take her home. He has been sexually abusing her for years. My date attempts to rape me in his car. While on a temp office assignment, my boss tells me he’d hire me full-time except I don’t pass the boob test. My boyfriend asks me, “Why do you want a career? I’ll build you a nice house and you’ll look after our four kids.” Tradies on a construction site wolf-whistle at me. (This happens regularly to young women in the 60’s. I and my friends really hate this.) While a friend and I are leaving a rock concert, the man behind me pinches my behind. (I lay into him with my umbrella. How dare he?) An office colleague comes up behind me and jabs his fingers into my ribs. He never does this to his male colleagues. (He gets a smack and a good talking to for his trouble.) My mother tells me that a family friend tried to sexually molest her when she was in her teens. A man helping me to change a tyre on the side of a country road grabs me and tries to kiss me. (He gets kneed in the groin.) I have learned to change my own flat tyres; in the midst of a tyre-change, a carload of men pull up and offer to help. I thank them for the offer and tell them it’s ok, I can change it myself. They verbally abuse me and drive off with a squeal of tyres. My boyfriend tries to choke me during an argument. (I leave him.) My husband pushes me to the ground during an argument. My head just misses hitting a rock. So many women ask me why I don’t have children. I get a promotion at work. However, I am paid much less than men in the same role. Trying to negotiate a fairer deal just doesn’t work. My brother expects me to pack up and leave my home and my business and my life overseas, and come back to Australia to “look after Mum”. He is unwilling to help her. Apparently, this is the daughter’s job. I notice that most house-cleaners are women, and aren’t paid much, but most window-cleaners are men, and are paid 2-3 times as much. House-cleaning is much harder work (I’ve done both). I charge what I think the job, and my effort and commitment, are worth. If a prospective client is not willing to pay it, I don’t work for them. (You do learn some things along the way…) My ex sister-in-law’s new husband asks me why I don’t get a boyfriend. His other comments make it clear that he thinks I am “still attractive enough” to have no trouble attracting a man. I notice – you can’t help but notice – that there are huge amounts of truly awful online comments made to and about women. Over my lifetime, I’ve heard an incredible number of stories from women of rapes, attempted rapes, family or workplace sexual predation or harrassment, verbal abuse, domestic violence, unfair wage practices, lack of promotions at work. Women of all ages, backgrounds, education. Will this stuff never stop?