Sometimes when surveying or bird watching for fun, as well as being asked where my boyfriend is, I’ve had comments like “you were the rarest bird today” or, even worse I think, “I feel aroused when I see you”.
Whilst out for drinks with a male colleague, the conversation turned to salary. This colleague has been working for the company for less time and does not have any professional qualifications. I on the other hand have a role with more responsibility and have passed the relevant professional exams. At last pay review he was offered £2000 more than I was. I now no longer work for the company but it really stings to know that as a more qualified member of staff with more responsibility I was still considered less valuable.
I formerly worked in insurance in the city of London. Brokers at Lloyd’s were known for their sexism and recruiters only hired ‘pretty girls’. I wanted a city career to provide for myself and family so I took the risk and got the job. I lasted only a year. I was pushed into toilets and assaulted by male colleagues, I was propositioned multiple times by guys that only worked a few desks down. I was told I was ‘just a girl’ so I’d find it hard to understand insurance though I’m doing an economics degree. It was relentless, and daily. Every morning comments were made on my outfit, God forbid I wore trousers. It was dresses and heels only. I eventually got such bad anxiety I would be throwing up during and before work. I left for banking and its better. But I’m still seen as just a girl. I’ll prove them wrong.
I work in the arts, as a private consultant but with occasional academic work. Myself and two male friends organised a conference with the express intention of publication at the end. I made the initial conference proposal to the academic research group we are all members of, and made no secret of the fact that I expected to publish it. Today I got an email invitation to contribute part of a chapter to the book…my book(!)..which is described as a new project that they were working on. There were three named male editors, one of whom wasn’t even involved with the conference organisation. I wasn’t even asked. I feel utterly betrayed, and annoyed that I didn’t see it coming.
I worked at a Big Four accounting and audit firm, and a partner invited my whole team out for drinks after work one evening. At the end of the evening, he cornered me and attacked me. He very forcefully tried to rape me, but I managed to escape before he could. I reported it to the company and the police. The police are investigating. There were no witnesses – he’s not stupid enough to attack a woman in front of other people. There’s no physical evidence of his attack because I stopped him before he could rape me. Ironic, isn’t it, that protecting myself from rape means the rapist can go free. The Big Four firm did a half-assed investigation and said it’s “he said, she said”, so they can’t take any disciplinary action against the partner. Then they let me go from my job. This is what happens in a male dominated industry, where partners are masters of their own domain and basically impossible to fire as they’re not technically employees. So who gets fired? The victim. Nice. Don’t believe a word when you read these Big Four companies talk about how female-friendly they are. It’s just good marketing.
I’m currently a student and I’ve been working at a restaurant for the past one and a half year. I started receiving sexist comments from my male boss (there is also a female boss, his wife) who is around his 60s, after 3-4 months after I started working there, and it’s been going on until now. It started with him “joking around” about a girl that was cleaning at the time the restaurant (also a student), as at some point she bend over to pick up something off the floor and was holding the back of her trousers so that her ass wouldn’t show. He turned to me and said “I don’t understand why some women wear those kind of trousers and don’t wear belts, if they are afraid of showing their ass. I mean I’m not saying that she doesn’t have a nice ass, ’cause she does, but you know what I’m talking about”. After hearing this I was unable to give a proper answer as I thought he was joking. But it turned out that he wasn’t. He believes that, since I’m the oldest one of the female employees there now, he can talk and gossip about all of the other staff there, thinking that I’d laugh and agree to his remarks. The last sexist thing he said to me was actually two days ago, when I went to get my wage. Normally, I take the money, sign on the notebook, and leave. Nevertheless, as I was about to turn around and leave, he started asking me questions about why the other employees would “mock” him. I told him that I hadn’t heard anything, but he wouldn’t believe me. Eventually, he started saying that some of the staff think he’s always looking at the asses or breasts of his female employees -which is correct, anyway. Then he said “It wouldn’t be my fault if I was looking at their asses, as they provoke with their way of dressing at work sometimes”. At that point, I was speechless from what he had said, and couldn’t think of an answer again, as I feel like voicing my opinion would start a dispute between me and him and ultimately make me lose my job. He kept me there for at least fifteen minutes and wouldn’t let me go, something that made me feel as if he had restrained me there from leaving, which brought me in a very awkward position. This has happened more than twenty times, and these were only two examples out of the several I’ve experienced. I’m just sick and tired of going every time to work and be scared of what his next look, comment or action might be. Comments like this and even actions, have been received from more than 10 former female employees, so I’m not the first nor the last one in there experiencing this. Everyone says that I should ignore him, but it’s not that easy as I need the job to live.
Yesterday someone wrote on my notepad at work “You have nice tits” and then proceeded to have a lengthy discussion about my bra size. When I told them to stop, a colleague told me “I thought you would be stronger than to say something. I don’t know why it bothers you anyway unless you’re a feminist”.
Working in an IT department in Financial Institution: 1. Hey guys look at Tania’s photo on her batch:Isn’t it a slut photo? 2. I bet you like to tie up guys 3. You better come and work in my office , it’s warmer here 4. Last Friday my boss “accidentally” hit my knee with his own cause I contradicted his argument And for the fact that I do not flirt with men and that I am assertive , I got a reputation of being cold and difficult to work with…
While travelling abroad on a work trip, my boss let me know that in choosing between me and a slightly better qualified candidate, he hired me because he like my ass. “Got to have something nice to look at when you are away from home”. He also commented on my hands, “nice hands, I’d like to see them round my dick”.
I worked at a flower shop, and on a slow day my male boss/owner suggested I put on a bikini and and stand outside to drum up business. He tried to sell me the business for 3 times what it was worth, and refused to show me the profit and loss statements from an accountant. He typed up his own ‘earnings’. Needless to say, I walked away completely.