16 Women reveal the most sexist things ever said to them in the workplace
At one point or the other, nearly all women have had to endure remarks made by male co-workers which have made them uncomfortable, or are just downright sexist. Whether this is an attempt to be humorous, or something that errs on the side of sexual harassment, this kind of parlance is so embedded in the workplace that regulating, and even taking disciplinary action against it, has become its own kind of grey area.
In order to draw attention to this phenomenon, we spoke to our audience as part of our International Women's Day Campaign: Overheard at Work, and asked them to share some of the most inappropriate things that have been said to them - or their female colleagues - at their place of work.
"We’d prefer that you don’t wear trousers on reception"
"Well since you’re already down there...."
"It's no wonder women get left behind if they're always crying"
"Women naturally have different capabilities to men, which also transfers to the workplace"
"Someone’s on their period!"
"You have a nice a**"
"You look like a naughty girl"
"You should be a little less abrasive"
"One of my male co-workers decided to tell me that I was a 'hot mama who should be in the kitchen cooking dinner'"
"I wore my Russell and Bromley over the knee boots to work once and this woman introduced me to a room full of men as 'Saskia in her f*ck me boots' - one of the men actually complained to HR because he was so embarrassed and knew I was too!"
"I had an old global creative director tell me about this one woman who was terrible at her job, but that it was something I didn't have to worry [about] because of the way I looked"
"While a guy was making coffee another guy said to him 'why are you doing that when there are women in the office?'"
"It is women’s god given right to have children and you are disrespecting that"
"After being told by an external CEO who I had presented to that I looked sexy, my director told me it might be a good career move to marry him 'because he’s rich'"
"I told a client he needed to 'go down' referring to a word document we were both reading on a computer, and he told the whole office that I asked to give him a bl*wjob."
"Make sure you wear heels to your interview, women are more likable in heels"
It's unfortunate that phrases like these will sound familiar to many women out there, but this only makes it more imperative that we keep calling out these aggressions in order to facilitate the change we want to see for ourselves, and for future generations of women too.