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Being a woman in male-dominated fields is not a breeze. As if day to day workplace stress is not enough, some sexist workplace conventions further reduce the quality of the working experience for women. Some of these conventions are listed below.
“Let me hear that, but in a man’s voice”
It is common to see that women’s voices are stifled and their thoughts, ideas and opinions ignored in the workplace. It is particularly infuriating to see the same idea championed by a woman, which was disregarded, applauded when echoed by a man.
Misogyny is as present and pervasive in work situations as it is in everyday life. Discriminatory and degrading comments are often passed off as humour. Sexist jokes and comments are seen as regular banter and when women react negatively to these statements (as is expected), they are gaslighted into believing they are overreacting.
“Do it, are you not a woman?”
Women are expected to take on roles outside of the scope of their job description simply because they are women. Many women find themselves doing menial tasks like arranging/serving coffee at meetings or performing other patriarchy assigned gender roles at the workplace because their male counterparts silently(or outrightly) demand and expect that they do.
There are few things as annoying as having a man undermine your expertise and knowledge on a topic you are well versed in. It is too common to see men condescendingly explain things to women that they were not asked to explain. Women in the workplace who attained the heights they did in their careers by knowing their stuff (obviously) are spoken to like they do not know what is probably their specialisation. Men tend to interrupt and speak over women dismissively just because they can and, if you dare complain, they gaslight you into silence.
Varying standards of accountability
Women are vilified for doing the same things men do in many aspects of life and work is no different. The scale for the measurement of workplace efficiency is tipped in favour of men. Women are expected to be docile and gentle and when in a leadership position, firmness is regarded as bossiness. Women are labelled bitches for exercising authority in the workplace while the same firmness is praised in male leads.