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4 examples of subtle workplace sexism

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2018 | Discrimination |

It is no secret that sexism in the workplace is still a problem. While there are obvious forms of misogyny and sex discrimination at work, sometimes it is not so apparent. According to a report by Fast Company, biases toward women in the workplace are often implicit and difficult to identify.

Even subtle sexism may be so persistent that it creates a hostile work environment. Here are some examples of subtle gender and sex discrimination in the workplace.

1. Expectations of stereotypical tasks

Some employers expect women to accomplish certain job duties, such as answering the phone, filling out paperwork, getting coffee or setting up meetings. A boss may tell a female worker to accomplish these secretarial tasks even if they are not relevant to her job.

2. Descriptive biases

Many people automatically assume women are sensitive, emotional and caring. While these are not necessarily negative characteristics, they can have harmful consequences for women who work in positions that are usually held by men. For example, a male employer may say that a woman does not fit into a particular role because he assumes she has stereotypical traits and is not strong enough to handle a leadership role.

3. Negative comments about feminism

Feminism is a term that has many negative connotations. Some people view feminists as intolerant, aggressive and bitter. This inaccurate stereotype often makes its way into workplaces, where some people will make derogatory comments about feminism and feminists.

4. Constant interruptions while talking

Sometimes men feel like it is okay to interrupt women while they are speaking. Men cutting off women mid-conversation can be annoying at best, but if it is a consistent problem, it may contribute to a hostile work environment. This behavior is common and often overlooked, but is a serious issue.

While these may not be the absolute worst examples of sex discrimination, they are still important to talk about and confront.