9 sexist experiences women encounter daily

by | Jun 5, 2015

Women are subjected to sexist experiences on a daily basis. Sometimes they so subliminal that we don't even notice them any more. They are our normal. Other times, these sexist experiences and instances of unconscious bias are very overt, and even eyebrow raising.

Any attempts to deal with them can produce a backlash about excessive PC-ness, or shrugged shoulders and messages to lighten up and to get over it.

[Tweet "This is not just from men. Women also fall into the same unconscious bias traps! "]

How many on this list of sexist experiences or unconscious biases have you observed or encountered personally?

 1. Being asked to take notes or serve coffee

woman serving coffee

"I am a VP Finance and usually the only woman in the room in a heavy engineering environment. I have had to be very firm about the coffee serving and note taking rotation! The men call it playing "mother". A visiting client (female) asked me once to assume this role too"

2. Being treated like a junior employee

man shaking hands with man

"I am a Sales Director for a tech software company. When I go to any meetings with my male reports, very often the clients will address their comments to them and not me  - especially the women. I have to remind them I am the decision maker."

3. Comments about the "time of the month"

womand and clock

"I had to be quite firm about an issue I was handling and one male colleague openly mouthed to another, "PMS", as if I wasn't there! I had to tell him very clearly my mood was about the poor quality of his work and not my menstrual cycle. I was less polite than that."

[Tweet ""No I don't have PMS. Your work was poor." "]

4. Being asked for a referral to an expert (male)


"I am an automotive engineer and am constantly being by asked customers and even internal stakeholders, if they can speak to an expert. I am the most highly qualified in the department with a PhD in Material Science." [Tweet "I am the expert!""]

5. Bropriation


Defined as : Women's ideas are often ignored – or claimed by men as their own.

"A female colleague proposed a new approach to a supply chain problem. The head of unit looked blankly and a few minutes later a  male colleague from another department, who is not involved in logistics at all, repeated the suggestion verbatim. It was met with rapturous and gushing responses from everyone present."

6. Being subjected to "mansplaining"

Recover from bullying

"I am an international  competition lawyer and was recently subjected to the Partner outlining (butchering) the case history and legal precedents for an assignment I am working on.He left out critical bits of the explanation.  Rather than just handing it over to me he decided to press on himself, because then, the client would see I was the person dealing with it."

  7. Being quizzed about childcare arrangements

mom 2

"During a recent job interview I was asked how I coped with a career and two children. My husband had interviewed with the same company some months earlier and was not asked anything about our kids at all. The interviewer was a woman"

 8. Subjected to Lecherous Looks and Wandering Hands


"A very beautiful colleague felt her personal space was being invaded by her boss. He eventually asked her if she would be open to an after hours no strings "arrangement" as he lived in the City Monday to Thursday, away from his wife. She reported it to HR (women) but they just laughed it off and said it didn't mean anything  and he was "just like that"."

9. Subjected to Manels


"I frequently go to conferences and workshops where the only panel members and speakers are male. This is especially annoying when they are talking about gender balance. It is even more irritating when the events are organised by women! "  Read Static Male Stats, Static Male Culture

If your organisation needs training on unconscious bias for men and women in your organization, contact 3Plus NOW

Guest Contributor Subscriber
3Plus is delighted to publish posts from guest contributers

Found that interesting?
Learn more about our services

Individual services

Make your dreams a reality with a professional evaluation of your career to date.

Corporate services

The evidence is in. More women in your company can deliver 35% greater financial returns. (Catalyst)

Upcoming events

Book Now

There are no upcoming Events at this time.

Dates for the Diary



We have Remote Learning Programs available 

Check out our exciting portfolio of offerings to support your business in upskilling and competence building for your teams, to address the unprecedented challenges that women face in this new totally a digital world.








Download and listen free podcasts

Related articles

Pros and cons of the humble brag

In an era when hard sales pitching is now unwelcome pretty much everywhere, it has been replaced by the humble brag. We all think the humble brag is a good way of sharing our achievements without looking arrogant. But research shows that it may not necessarily always work in our favour as we think.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
3 Plus International Call Back Request