9 sexist experiences women encounter daily
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
"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
"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"
"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!""]
"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"
"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
"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
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Dates for the Diary
November 12th European Commission DG GROW
Informal talk on how to deal with sexism - 12.30 - 1400
November 25th Council of the European Union - Corporate Event
How to deal with sexism and harassment in the workplace
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