Hot topic: Still the 1940s? Sexism in the workplace

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When we shared stories of everyday sexism in the workplace, we were shocked to receive even more responses that displayed the overwhelming breadth of the problem.
Even in Accountancy - still happens. "Are you one of the secretaries?"
Other side of the coin - it happens in reverse, a male friend works as a volunteer in an ED; he wears a red shirt with Volunteer printed across the front and back. He is quite often called "doctor' by patients!
Another recent example was when I was interviewing a male candidate for a role. together with the "Chair" of the board, also female. The candidate spoke over us both, answering questions before they were even finished and generally treated the whole interview as pretty much a foregone conclusion. He was shocked to learn that he had not been successful; and actually believed that we had been sexist against him.
(Not so, we appointed another GENTLEman). – Vera P


My question is not intended to offend, but I wonder if a percentage of sexism is driven by an older generation where females in certain positions simply didn't exist 30yrs ago. Think about it - it wasn't that long ago where it was rare for females to be pilots, large animal vets or even tradespeople such as carpenters, etc. If that can be accepted, perhaps a large percentage of the sexism is occuring unintentionally simply due to it not being "the norm". And if that's the case, maybe sexism will simply, err, die out.... – Deborah Pearson

And it won't change until the men in industry change and support the women. Women "leaning in" cannot bring about change on their own. – Helen Harvey

Don't kid yourself! These behaviors were rampant in the 1970's! I remember "girlie" pictures hung around offices, disparging remarks made about "women's issues", assumptions that a demanding female boss was "on the you-know-what" (it's too offensive to even write!) or needed to get ... well, you-know-what about that one, too. The feminist movement put an end to a lot of that garbage however, as the article proves, we've won some battles but still not the war! How sad.... – Chris

Whether you’re male or female, have you witnessed or experienced sexism? Share your stories.
 
  • Boxer on 3/31/2014 10:51:16 AM

    I am disappointed that someone would make a comment that is age-ist when addressing sexism.

    I am a 56 year old male and have always championed assessing people based on their ability to perform the work, NOT on non-job-related factors. Many of my age peers are the same.

    I have heard both young and older men and women make sexist remarks. Thankfully I have been able to explain to them the error of their ways. :)

    Let's get rid of ALL stereotyping.

  • Susan Anderson on 3/31/2014 11:27:29 AM

    I was embarrassed when my husband (who was in his early 40's) asked one of our vice presidents if she was the president's secretary!

  • Rassig on 4/1/2014 11:35:18 AM

    I can only shake my head when I hear the term "male nurse" being used. Despite progress, at times it seems we still have a long road ahead.

  • ;lajksfnd on 4/8/2014 2:24:27 PM

    In my previous job I found a payslip from my male predecessor in one of my drawers. I was disappointed to find that he was paid 20% more than me, and he was my age, less experienced and no more qualified. I knew of the so-called wage gap, but as a single, qualified professional with no intention to raise a family, I never thought it would affect me. (I'm female, obviously.)

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