[23 May 2023]

Everyday sexism: learning how to fight back

“I didn’t get the job because they thought I’d want to have children soon.”

“I always get asked to make the tea in meetings.”

“I’m in a senior role in a male-dominated industry, but people assume I’m the secretary.”

Almost every woman you speak to will have tales of everyday sexism at work.  From the seemingly trivial, to more serious harassment, it can take its toll on your confidence and happiness.

Research by Samsung UK and Ireland found that women are asked to make the tea three times more than men, and are twice as likely as men to be asked about their children, and are twice as likely to be asked to do menial or admin tasks.

For women in jobs that were traditionally thought of as ‘male’, sexism can be even more overt.  Women in tech jobs report often being asked if a task is “too technical” for them, or told they only got their job because they are a woman – ironic, as women can often find it difficult to get into STEM jobs.

At the more serious end of the spectrum, sexism at work can mean women find it harder to get certain jobs (especially in male dominated industries), may be denied responsibilities or promotions, can be paid less than men doing similar jobs, and may even decide to change career or leave the workforce.  This is obviously unacceptable, but how can women ensure they’re given equal treatment?

At our The Art of the Possible event in June, we’ll be looking at issues that women face in the workplace, including sexism, coming back into work after a career break and imposter syndrome, and we’ll be discussing ways in which we can make sure all workplaces are inclusive, equal and diverse.

Our workshop on everyday sexism will examine what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace, with ideas on how you can fight back against sexist attitudes and comments.  Know your rights, and what you shouldn’t have to put up with in your place of work.

Sign up to The Art of the Possible now.