How to deal with Hepeating

by Mar 16, 20230 comments

Why we need to deal with Hepeating as soon as it happens

How do you deal with hepeating if you witness it or it happens to you? It is one of the most damaging and stereotyping microaggressions 


I have been a bit slow. I just found out that Nike is the Greek-winged Goddess of Victory. The sports company logo represents the wing, ‘swoosh’, which symbolises the sound of speed, movement, power and motivation.

Now that feels like “hepeating” on a giant scale doesn’t it?


Hepeating a damaging microaggression

From  “manolgue” to “mansplaining” we now have the word “hepeating.”

The term was coined by friends of the US Physics Professor and Astronomer Nicole Gugliucci, who announced it to the world in a tweet on 22 September 2017.


how to deal with hepeating

Part of Tall poppy Syndrome

The word refers to a situation where a man repeats or takes credit for an idea originally proposed by a woman, often without giving her credit or acknowledgment for it. It is a form of gender-based discrimination that can occur in a variety of contexts, including the workplace, social settings, and academic environments.

Tall Poppy Syndrome is a situation when people attack, diminish or cut down women because of their achievements and/or success. The Tallest Poppy, is a study led by Dr. Rumeet Billan, and reveals the consequences of this silent systemic syndrome and the impact it has on women in the workplace worldwide.

Today we know that women’s success is threatened in all global organisations and in some ways to quote Antonio Guterres Secretary General of the U.N. is “vanishing before our eyes”  When women are competent and successful the more likely they are to be undermined from all sides. The results are grim and show that there is much work to be done.


Long lasting

Hepeating is one of the most negative actions taken against women because it is a practice that perpetuates gender inequality. It embeds the damaging stereotypes that men are the creative and innovative contributors on a team and that women are there in a support role.

This is yet another microaggression to have a lasting negative impact on women in many ways. It increases stress levels, damages self-confidence, and leads to burnout.  In extreme circumstances, it can become a workplace trauma with effects that can last for years.

How to deal with hepeating

If it happens to you you have no choice but to self-advocate. You can:

  • Call it out – bring it up at the time
  • Call it in – speak about it later.

But raise it you must. “Great you loved my idea. Thank you for your support.”


Worth a read: Become a micro-advocate to support organisational change – 3 Plus International


Use the time honoured, fail-safe CIA methodology.


Bystander intervention

If you are a witness to “hepeating” simply stage a bystander intervention.

“Great that you picked up on Susie’s idea, I thought it was brilliant too!.”

Remember the line “bad things happen when good people do nothing”?

This is a bad thing. And you are a good person.



3Plus offers a portfolio of gender balance solutions which includes working with you to establish an understanding of the unwritten corporate culture.


Dorothy Dalton Administrator
Dorothy Dalton is CEO of 3Plus International. A specialist in diversity and bias conscious executive search, she supports organizations to achieve business success via gender balance, diversity and inclusion. She is CIPD qualified, and a certified coach and trainer including digital learning.
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